Panchabuta had reported in November last year that, India had launched incentive for Electric Vehicle makers of upto 20% of ex-factory price. A ceiling on the subsidy for EV cars was placed at Rs. 100,000 and it was mandated that atleast 30 per cent indigenous content was used in the vehicles sold, a sizeable operation in retail and after sales outlets and a multi-point check system for accounting the retail sale was also available.
Further, in December last year, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles launched its Electric Car REVAi in Pune. Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles is currently the only manufacturer of EV cars in India and had a set a target of 12-18 months to triple their sales to 3600 units.
Later last year,Panchabuta had mentioned that public sector powerhouse Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) was mulling a partnership with Japanese automaker Toyota to make electric vehicles (EVs) in India, the second fastest growing auto market in the world.
In a major announcement for the EV community, presenting the General Budget 2011-12, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister informed that to provide green and clean transportation for the masses, a National Mission for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles will be launched in collaboration with all stakeholders.
This is a welcome move, and Panchabuta believes that a move to get all public road transport vehicles in atleast all the major metros on natural gas away from diesel could be a significant first step and the success of Delhi in this regard could be replicated.
Panchabuta believes that natural gas must be used in situations where it provides for an ability to replace the more expensive imported oil instead of coal in power plants.
Given success of such natural gas being used as the fuel of choice in public transport systems in countries in Europe, most recently China and even cities in the US, it is imperative that the National Mission for hybrid does this in India. Further it could also provide for specific incentives for CNG along with setting up of facilities in all the metros within a reasonable time frame. The impeteus could be given my mandating it on the public sector road transport followed by incentives to the private sector to adpot CNG as a fuel of choice or atleast a duel fuel option.
Update: (Via our reader @HD_EcoDave) According to this report, based on a study by UBC, the study demonstrates the importance of engine type when adopting clean fuels. The study finds that as much as one third of CNG is not properly burned in two-stroke engines, producing high emissions of methane, a major greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.