India and China take their marks for electric car race

India’s most influential government think-tank has recommended lowering taxes and interest rates for loans on electric cars, while capping sales of conventional ones in a radical attempt to electrify all vehicles in the country by 2032. A draft of the 90-page blueprint drawn up by Niti Aayog, the planning body headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,  also suggeststhat the government opens a battery plant by the end of 2018 and uses tax revenues from the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles to set up charging stations for electric vehicles. The report’s exclusive focus  on electric vehicles marks a shift away from the current policy that incentivises both hybrid vehicles – which combine fossil fuel and electric power – and electric cars.
“India’s potential to create a new mobility paradigm that is shared, electric and connected could have a significant impact domestically and globally,” said a draft version of the report, titled Transformative Mobility Solutions for India, which will be made public this week. It would also mark a radical response by India as it looks to cut its oil import bill to half by 2030 and reduce emissions as part of its commitment to the Paris climate treaty.
So far the Indian consumer’s enthusiasm for environmentally-friendly technology has fallen short of expectations. In 2015, the  government launched its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles scheme under which it offered incentives of as much as 140,000 rupees ($2,175) for  clean fuel technology cars to boost their sales to up to seven million vehicles by 2020. The scheme has made little progress, with the sales of electric and hybrid cars making up only a fraction of the three million passenger vehicles sold in India in 2016.
News of the report’s recommendations comes two weeks after Finmarket reported that the  authorities in Beijing had  drawn up plans to significantly boost China’s share of the global automotive industry by 2025, partly by developing cars that run  on alternative fuels, as well as by easing restrictions on foreign participating in joint venture. Chinese sales of  ‘green’ cars are expected to have quadrupled from 507,000 last year to over two million by the end of the decade, while total car production is being forecast to rise from around 24.5 million units in 2016 to 30 million in 2020 and 35 million in 2025.

Source: reuters