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Government allows sales of electric vehicles without batteries


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Battery powered two and three-wheelers may see some price corrections after the government allowed electric vehicles to be registered without their batteries.

A letter sent to the transport department and transport commissioners of all states and Union Territories by the Centre on August 12 stated: “The government is striving to create an ecosystem to accelerate the uptake of electric mobility in the country. It is time to come together to work jointly to achieve the broader national agenda to reduce vehicular pollution and oil import bill. It will also provide opportunities to the sunrise industry.”

The batteries in an electric vehicle (EV) make up 30-40 percent of the total cost of the vehicle.

The government hopes that the upfront cost of the vehicle will thus be lower than petrol, diesel or CNG powered two and three-wheelers.

“The battery could be provided separately by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or the energy service provider,” the letter added.

Naveen Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Electric said, “The policy is a welcome move. I am excited about the possibilities that exist in making EVs accessible to every individual in the country. All we need is a combination of such pioneering policies for it to work in the long term.”

“For this to take off and be able to efficiently pass on the benefit to the consumer, we ought to work towards a strong infrastructure that allows EV owners to charge and swap batteries wherever they require. I look forward to more such positive interventions,” Munjal added.

The prototype of the EV and the battery (regular or swappable) is required to be type approved by test agencies specified by the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

“It is clarified that vehicles without batteries can be sold and registered based on the type approval certificate issued by the test agency. It is further clarified that there is no need to specify the make/type or any other details of the battery for the purpose of registration,” the Centre’s letter added.

Amit Raj Singh, Co-founder & Managing Director, GEMOPAI, said the Centre’s move will reduce the cost of acquisition of an EV for the customer, which is right now at par with internal combustion engines. He feels the major benefit will be to shared mobility and logistic players who are transitioning to EVs.However, a senior executive of a leading electric two-wheeler manufacturer countered the move of the government stating, “How does it remove the battery cost? EVs cannot run without batteries! They will still have to be bought.”

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