In an effort to curb environmental pollution and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, a high-ranking government body in India is pressing for only electric tricycles or rickshaws to be permitted from April 2023 and solely electric two-wheelers to be sold from April 2025.
This was reported with reference to unnamed insiders. It was also proposed to double the level of subsidies for electric rickshaws in order to bring the prices of vehicles to the level of their combustion engine counterparts. However, the Indian government has not yet decided on the plans.
In India, around 21 million two and three-wheelers were sold last year. This makes the country the world’s largest market for such vehicles. By way of comparison, only 3.3 million cars and commercial vehicles were sold there in the same period. Meanwhile, electric scooters accounted for only a fraction of total sales, but sales figures rose from 54,800 to 126,000 units within 12 months.
However, India’s political future is currently open, because the most recent election has had no official result yet. Surveys indicate that the political alliance led by Prime Minister Modi will get a clear majority, but as long as this remains unconfirmed, there is also a question mark hovering behind the country’s mobility strategy.
So far, the government has mainly approached the issue with an incentive system: On 1 April, the second phase of the national eMobility subsidy programme FAME, which was launched in 2015, came into force with a considerable delay. FAME 2 is now running over a period of three years and has a budget of 100 billion rupees (1.24 billion euros). According to the government, these funds will be used to support the purchase of 1 million electric two-wheelers, 500,000 electric tricycles, 55,000 electric four-wheeled vehicles and 7,000 buses. While the programme allows private applicants for two-wheeled vehicles, the other targets are primarily aimed at electrifying public transport and commercial services such as taxis and rickshaws.