India’s 1st step towards EVs raises
Mains Paper 1: Science and Technology
Prelims level: Electric Vehicles
Mains level: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology,
bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights
- The guidelines released recently by the power ministry for setting
up charging infrastructure will go a long way in allaying the apprehensions
of existing and prospective manufacturers of electric vehicles in India.
- The guidelines can be considered the first major step taken by
India to push electric mobility but leave a lot of unanswered questions.
- The decision to allow private charging stations to be set up at
residences and offices will surely encourage potential buyers of electric
- Also, that an individual setting up a station will not require a
licence and power distribution companies will set up a connection on a
priority basis are welcome steps.
- The fact that most of the charging stations in the first stage
will be established in mega cities such as Delhi and Mumbai is also
indicative of the government’s resolve to reduce vehicular pollution in
leading urban centres.
- Most of the these cities have recorded alarming levels of
pollution in the last few years and the lack of charging infrastructure has
been the major roadblock for would-be buyers of electric vehicles.
- However, the guidelines will not fully assuage concerns of the
customers and manufacturers.
- Basic things, such as the incentives on offer for an individual or
a corporate entity for setting up charging stations, were not mentioned.
- Also, there is lack of clarity on issues such as who will provide
the land for the charging stations, and whether it would be given by the
government at a discounted rate.
- The fiscal incentives will be a part of the main electric vehicles
policy, or the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of
(Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles or FAME scheme.
- The power ministry did not have the mandate to issue any
guidelines, but why leave out the Chinese standard of charging known as GB/T
when Chinese companies are leading vehicle manufacturing across the globe?
- Most electric cars, buses, two- and three-wheelers running on
Indian roads at the moment are compatible with the Chinese standards as
opposed to the Japanese CHAdeMO, or the CCS of standards of the Europeans
- So, what happens to these vehicles when these new fast-charging
stations come up?
- Chinese companies like SAIC Motor and BYD have been making
high-quality electric vehicles, while most of the Japanese, American and
European manufacturers are yet to develop an affordable electric power
- The geopolitical tensions with China, our policymakers need to
understand that Chinese companies may help develop the electric vehicle
ecosystem in India just like the Japanese ones did when the internal
combustion engine manufacturing ecosystem was being established almost three
- The reports suggest that the government may also resort to levying
an additional cess on traditional vehicles to generate funds to offer
incentives for electric vehicles.
- This is unfair to the industry as vehicle manufacturers have
invested heavily to comply with the new safety, efficiency and fuel
- Funds to promote electric mobility should be generated from
existing extra taxes levied on diesel vehicles, or the government should
reduce the goods and services tax on vehicles to 18% from 28%, before
imposing a new cess.
Q.1) Consider the following statements.
Assertion (A): ISRO has decided to remove all lithium ion batteries from its
satellite and launch vehicle applications.
Reason (R): Lithium-ion batteries can pose unique safety hazards since they
contain a flammable electrolyte.
In the context of the above, which of these is correct?
a) A is correct, and R is an appropriate explanation of A.
b) A is correct, but R is not an appropriate explanation of A.
c) A is correct, but R is incorrect.
d) A is incorrect, but R is correct.
Q.1) Why leave out the Chinese standard of charging known as GB/T when Chinese
companies are leading vehicle manufacturing across the globe?