Gujarat has put just one e-vehicle on the road in last six months: Govt data
Electric vehicles (EVs) have garnered a lot of focus in India of late, but the rate at which its states have added EVs on the roads hasn't been encouraging.
Gujarat, which leads the EV chart, managed to add only one car to an existing base of 31,576 in the past six months, according to the dashboard on the website of FAME - Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles - scheme. The state's target is to have 100,000 EVs by 2022.
Runners-up Maharashtra, which set a target of registering five lakh EVs by 2022 - an average of 274 vehicles per day - managed only four per day in the past five months.
On the whole, India added only 2,237 EVs in the past six months, taking its total to 280,892, according to the dashboard of the scheme under the National Automotive Board under the Union Ministry of Heavy Industries.
Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, which also released their EV policies recently, also fared poorly.
Kerala needed to add 913 EVs on its roads every day to reach its target of one million EVs by 2022. But it managed only two new EVs in the last five months.
There, of course, has been a general slump in India's auto market. Also, necessary infrastructures for EVs are mostly not in place though Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pushed hard for EVs in her July Budget.
Data also pointed out that the second leg of the FAME scheme has been struggling in its objective of increasing support for EVs in public transport (eg, buses and three-wheelers). Most of the addition has been of two-wheelers and cars, most likely to be privately owned.
"If a buyer chooses to buy an EV instead of a car with an internal combustion engine, it is a good choice environmentally. However, public money should not be spent largely on supporting private motorisation because cities are already choking with congestion," Vivek Chattopadhyay, senior programme manager, clean air programme, Centre for Science and Environment, said.
"Public transport and last-mile connectivity modes on electric should be the top goal and must be prioritised. Because they travel more distances per day so total load of emission per person is less which can be further lowered or to made zero with EVs and use of renewables," he added.
India aims to have 15-16 million EVs on the road by 2020, but as of May 2019, the country had only 0.28 million, according to the State of India's Environment In Figures 2019 published by Down to Earth.
The Union government is pushing for EVs to curb pollution and reduce reliance on import-dependent fossil fuels. With 100 per cent electrification, India can save Rs 20 lakh crore and one gigatonne of carbon dioxide emissions.
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