September 6, 2018 / 1:28 PM / in 2 months

India wants EVs to be 15 percent of all vehicle sales in five years

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari speaks during the India Economic Summit 2014 at the World Economic Forum in New Delhi November 5, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India expects electric vehicles to make up 15 percent of all vehicles sales in five years, its transport minister said on Thursday, as the country tries to curb greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on fossil fuels.

Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said India was working on measures to achieve its electric mobility target, adding that the proposal may not include incentives to stakeholders.

India’s policy thinktank, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had announced in 2015 a 15-year roadmap to electrify all new vehicles by 2030, which many experts had called ambitious.

The proposal included a plan to limit the registrations of petrol and diesel cars and incentivise sale of electric vehicles (EVs). Gadkari said on Thursday he does not see a need to subside electric vehicles (EVs) sold for personal use, but commercial EVs could be incentivised.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing car markets, but sale of EVs are negligible compared with millions of petrol and diesel cars sold every year.

EVs are expensive due to the high cost of batteries which are still not manufactured in India, and carmakers say a lack of charging stations could make the whole proposition unviable.

All EVs and alternate fuel cars would be exempted from taking permits, Gadkari said, a departure from the current practice which requires the owner to pay a substantial amount to secure permission to drive it.

To enable local manufacturing, the ministry is also planning to exempt import duties on a limited number of vehicles if they are brought in for testing, he said.

Reporting by Aditi Shah and Sudarshan Varadhan; Writing by Promit Mukherjee; editing by David Evans

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