Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday entered the elite list of Indian states including Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, that are already in the process of shifting over to electrification of the automobile sector by introducing ‘Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) for sustainable, eco-friendly mobility solutions.
The state cabinet on Tuesday approved the Draft Electric Vehicle Policy, a comprehensive plan to develop and promote sustainable transport system for making Himachal Pradesh a global hub for electric mobility development and manufacturing electric vehicles.
Apart from providing subsidies and incentives to the electric vehicles manufacturing industries, the policy also envisages creation of public and private charging infrastructure for electric vehicles,
“The sole objective is to shift to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) at least by 15% till 2025” Anupam Kashyap, state’s Director (Transport ) told Outlook this morning.
He also added that the individuals or companies opting for BEVs would receive handsome incentives which would actually reduce the high cost of these vehicles and eventually will help the state to develop a model of green transport while cutting down vehicular pollution significantly.
"An advantage to Himachal Pradesh remains its eco-fragile ecology and lowest pollution level in major urban towns . The vehicular pollution goes up at high rate during the tourist seasons when a lot of people throng the hills ,and some of the popular destinations” Kashyap added.
State Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is also known to use Battery Electric vehicle.
Currently, the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) is running 75 electric passenger transport buses and 50 electric taxis primarily in Shimla smart city and few other towns.
The first and foremost requirement to make the Electric Vehicle Policy-2021 a successful one is setting up adequate number of charging stations at various locations.
There is a plan to set-up one charging station within every 1km x 1km grid in major cities , towns and National Highways .
Pankaj Dadwal, Managing Director of Himachal Pradesh state Electricity Board (HPSEB) Ltd said “HPSEB has given its plan to the state government to facilitate setting up of charging stations for domestic use and also commercial purposes .Those setting-up charging stations for their own vehicles will be asked to pay domestic traffics while other will have a different pattern, which the regulator will decide”.
The government also proposes to attract investors in this sector to manufacture electric vehicles, batteries for the electric vehicles and also other accessories .Under the policy, the government will incentivise the adoption of EVs across segments .
The opening up of this sector will also promise new employment opportunities related to the development of the EV ecosystem in the state,” said Kashayp .
Apoorv Devgan, secretary of HP state Pollution Control Board feels the introduction of BEVs will further improvise the air quality in the hill towns and also the industrial belt .The measures like zero emission level can also be enforced to make the hill towns and tourist destinations pollution free.
Experts from the automobile sector also informed that the state governments are also imposing additional road tax on ICE vehicles, green tax on re-registration of old vehicles, cess on petrol and diesel and a congestion fee on ICE cabs to fund their EV ambitions.