What's driving Delhi to be the EV capital of India?
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said in a tweet that Delhi is emerging as the “EV (electric vehicle) capital of India". The Delhi Transport Department claimed that electric vehicle sales were six times higher in the national capital compared to n the rest of the country.
In a tweet, Delhi CM Kejriwal said, "I’m glad Delhi is emerging as the EV capital of India with a 9% share of EVs. Delhi is doing everything possible to reduce its contribution to pollution."
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Electric vehicles account for the second most type of vehicles purchased in Delhi during the September-November quarter this year. Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said that Delhi’s progressive electric vehicle policy had turned out to be a huge success and the electric vehicle sales have been gaining more popularity by the day.
According to the Delhi government, electric vehicles have surpassed the sales of CNG and diesel vehicles in the national capital in the last quarter. EVs accounted for 9.2 per cent of total vehicles sold in Delhi between September-November 2021. On the other hand, the national average for EV sales was 1.6 per cent. A total of 9,540 electric vehicles were sold in Delhi in the last quarter.
The Delhi government also claimed that sales of electric vehicles have been rapidly increasing each month. The Delhi government had earlier set a target for EVs to account for 25 per cent of total vehicle sales in the national capital by 2024.
EVs at second position for the first time
Electric vehicles for the first time grabbed the second position in the total vehicle sales chart. During the September-November period this year, petrol vehicles registered 82,626 units in Delhi, while EVs recorded 9,540 units surpassing diesel and CNG vehicles.
A total of 7,820 and 2,688 units of diesel and CNG vehicles were sold during the same period this year. Among the 9,540 units of electric vehicles sold in Delhi during the last three months, September recorded 2,873 EVs, while 3,275 EVs were sold in October and 3,392 Evs were registered in November.
Delhi EV policy plays a crucial role
Delhi EV policy is considered the most comprehensive EV policy in India focusing on both demand creation and ecosystem development. Delhi government introduced its EV policy in August 2020 and under this strategy, it aimed to increase EV share in total vehicle sales to 25 per cent by 2024. The state government also became the first to exempt road tax and registration fees for new EVs. This encouraged the buyers to purchase electric vehicles.
The subsidies offered to the new EV buyers was another crucial factor in the growth of zero-emission vehicles in Delhi. The state government offered subsidies to the first 1000 electric cars purchased there. These EV buyers received a subsidy of ₹10,000 per kWh battery capacity, with benefits ranging up to ₹1.50 lakh. The subsidies were offered till November this year.
Under the Delhi EV policy, the development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles has received a major push. This has helped the national capital to witness a strong network of public EV charging stations. With such a strong and growing EV charging infrastructure, the Delhi government has been able to alleviate the range anxiety among the buyers, which remain one of the major hindrances ahead of the growth of BEVs in India.
Diesel vehicle retro-fitment with EV kit
Last month, the Delhi government allowed the retro fitment of diesel vehicles with EV kits. This will allow the old diesel vehicle owners to convert their vehicles into electric ones and bypass the ban on ten-year-old diesel models.
Back in 2015, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered that all diesel vehicles registered in Delhi that are older than 10 years be banned. It also ordered that petrol vehicles older than 15 years be banned in the state. This mandate suddenly made a large number of old vehicles scrap. However, with the Delhi government allowing retro-fitment of old diesel vehicles with EV kits, these owners were saved from scrapping their vehicles.