Electric vehicle makers have asked the Niti Aayog to develop policies for providing an incentive worth Rs.40, 000 on each e-scooter in order to accelerate the adoption of such vehicles which are powered by lithium battery. E-scooters are scooters that run on a battery and reduce the amount of pollution in the country. With the increasing prices of fuel and an increase in pollution, e scooters are in demand. In a letter to the government, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles has said that the technologically advanced lithium battery powered scooter costs about Rs.80, 000 currently. In order to push sales, it is important that the cost of such two wheelers is brought down by an incentive.
The society requested the Niti Aayog to formulate policies that allow the government to provide one year incentive for any manufacturer who sells an e-scooter which is fully CMVR certified and is fitted with BIS certified lithium battery which has an on road price of Rs.40, 000 to customers across the country. The government could pass on the subsidy of Rs. 40,000 directly to the manufacturer. The current amount of subsidy is Rs.22, 000.
It is expected that with an attractive proposition, there could be a mass conversion to electric scooters. A fixed price of Rs.40, 000 will also ensure that the manufacturers do not take advantage of the subsidy in order to increase their margins. The transfer of subsidy directly to the manufacturers can ensure the democratic access to subsidy for the electric scooter use and also reduce the chances of middlemen and graft. The society also mentioned that the scheme could even be announced for a period of six months and can be extended by another six months for a specific number of e-two- wheelers. Such an initiative could have a snowballing impact on the adoption of e scooters in the country.
Currently the sale of e scooters is low which is about 15,000 to 20,000 units per year, against a whopping 1.7 crore petrol two wheelers sold annually. Despite the efforts of the government and the industry, the sales of e scooters have not been picked up. This could be due to the high prices of the same. The high price of the lithium powered scooter even after a subsidy is one of the prominent reasons for the low sales. 99% of the e scooters are currently powered by low speed lead batteries due to the affordability factor.
With an incentive by the government, the sales could pick up and it would have long term benefits for the nation.