Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has come up with a draft "Odisha Electric Vehicle Policy, 2021" to build Odisha a model State in promotion of electric vehicles (EVs) through adoption, adaptation, research, and development.

This is in accordance with the Central rules under which the government of India has therefore adopted a National Electric Mobility Plan with a commitment to cut emission intensity by 35% below levels by 2030. The Centre has requested all the States and Union Territories to frame their own EV policy.

As per an official notification issued by the Odisha Commerce and Transport Department, the primary aim of the Odisha Electric Vehicle policy is to accelerate the pace of adoption of electric vehicles in the vehicle segments especially in the category of two-wheelers, three-wheelers and other light motor vehicles.

Government's Take

Principal Secretary of State Transport Department Madhusudan Padhi said that by 2025 the government has fixed a target to ensure that 20 percent of vehicles getting new registrations should be running by electricity.

The Key Objectives Of The Policy

-- Promote the use of Electric Vehicles across vehicle segments among public in the State by facilitating an appropriate ecosystem. The aim is to achieve adoption of 20% Battery Electric Vehicles in all vehicle registrations by 2025.

-- Promote manufacture of Electric Vehicles & its components including Battery in the State.

-- Promote Innovation and facilitate Research & Development in the areas relating to Electric Vehicles & Battery.

-- Put in measures to support the creation of jobs in driving, selling, financing, servicing, manufacturing and charging of Electric Vehicles

Important Features Of The Policy

The Odisha Electric Vehicle Policy shall remain valid for a period of five years from the date of notification.

As per the draft policy, a State-level Task Force will be formed under the chairmanship of Odisha Chief Secretary with other members from various departments including Commerce and Transport, Energy and others.

Apart from this, a steering committee headed by Principal Secretary, Commerce and Transport department has been proposed. The steering committee will ensure effective implementation of the decisions of the State Level Task Force to streamline the adoption of Electric Vehicles in the State.

It is pertinent to mention here that, 82% of all new vehicles registered in the State comprise two-wheelers and it is the most popular segment of vehicles that contribute a major part in air pollution. Similarly, three-wheelers numbers 3.06% and Cars (LMVs) constitute 7.04% of total registered vehicles in the State.

Under the draft policy, the State government has proposed to provide purchase incentives to create demand generation among the public for the electric vehicles.

A person will get 15% subsidy (Maximum amount Rs 5,000) for the purchase of an electric two-wheeler, 15% subsidy (Rs 12,000) for three-wheelers and Rs 1,00,000 for four-wheelers. There shall be open permit for autos (three-wheelers).

Apart from this, 100% interest free loans would be made available to State Government employees for the purchase of Electric Vehicles.

Sources said the Municipal authorities will provide subsidized parking for all personal electric vehicles.  Individual Towns/Cities will prepare city parking plan to encourage provisions for on-street parking places for these vehicles with subsidized fees and EV charging stations.

In order to avail the above incentive, the electric two-wheelers have to fulfill the performance and efficiency eligibility criteria as in FAME India Phase-II. These include; Min. top speed of 40km/hour, Minimum acceleration (0.65m/s2), maximum electricity/ energy consumption (Not exceeding 7kWh/ 100km).

The Odisha government will provide appropriate incentives and other support to ensure that pure electric buses constitute at least 50% of all new stage carriages procured for the city buses in the next five years. A subsidy of 10% (maximum limit of Rs. 20 lakhs per vehicle) shall be extended to the buyers for passenger buses registered in the State.

As per the draft policy, 100% exemption on road tax & registration fees for the first four years will be made available.

What Are The Opinions

Environmentalist Jaykrushna Panigrahi said the new vision by the government will be a strong move in reducing vehicular pollution to a large extent as gradually the mineral fuel-run vehicles will become a thing of past.

Co-founder of Bhubaneswar-based EV startup EeVe, Harsh Vardhan Didwania welcomed the decision of the State government to go green in vehicle transport sector but said that it must spur encouragement in the people to buy electric vehicles and that can only happen when the government promotes affordability and growth in the market through various means.

Member of National Road Safety Council, Sayad Maqbool Ali said there is a heaven and hell difference between preparing a policy and effectively executing it to obtain the best outcomes. Present subsidy trends in electric vehicle sector are quite discouraging so the government has to consider it as the most important factor before implementing the policy.

Urban planner from Bhubaneswar Piyush Rout expressed that the most important infrastructure unit the government needs to take care of for endorsing electric vehicles is to set up an adequate number of charging stations to give people confidence that the mode of transport can be relied upon with blind eye.

Edited By Suryakant Jena