Himachal Pradesh Proposes New EV Policy As Country’s EV Ecosystem Grows

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The policy aims to make three cities-Shimla, Baddi, and Dharamshala- model cities for EV readiness and adoption

Following the suit of states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, the state government of Himachal Pradesh has proposed a new Electric Vehicle Policy-2021 as the shift towards e-mobility picks up pace in the country.  

With this new EV Policy, the state government aims to promote sustainable, safe, eco-friendly, inclusive, and integrated mobility solutions, and establish Himachal as a model state for electric-vehicle (EV) adoption among hilly states.

According to transport director Anupam Kashyap, the primary objective is to make battery electric vehicles (BEVS) form at least 15 per cent of the new vehicle registrations by 2025.

The policy aims to make three cities-Shimla, Baddi, and Dharamshala- model cities for EV readiness and adoption. Besides, it also envisages the electrification of Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses and cabs.

He said the government would incentivise the adoption of EVs across segments and also create a network of public charging stations. At least one charging station would be made available within every 1km x 1km grid in major cities and towns, and at least one slow-charging station (on each side) will be created every 25km on state highways. At least one fast-charging point (on each side) every 50kms on busy national highways will also be deployed.

Kashyap also added that the government aims to create employment opportunities related to the development of the EV ecosystem in the state.

With regards to funding, Kashyap said an umbrella state EV fund will be created using a ‘feebate structure’, where fees are applied to ICE vehicles to raise funds that are returned as rebates in the form of incentives.

The state EV fund will be capitalised from sources such as additional road tax and/or registration fees charged to ICE vehicles, green tax on ICE vehicles registered in the state, pollution cess on petrol and diesel vehicles sold in the state.

Apart from it, the funds will be generated from air-quality parking surcharge applicable to ICE vehicles and penalties levied on vehicles entering or idling in low/zero-emission zones during time periods decided by urban development agencies.

Under the policy, all EVs have been exempted from payment of road tax under the Himachal Pradesh Motor Vehicles Taxation Act. Commercial EVs have also been exempted from requiring permits.

The director said that at least one low/zero-emission zone in each of the three model cities will be created where only EVs, walking, and cycling will be permitted. Also, a reserve percentage of parking slots for EVs (with charging infrastructure) in high-volume parking spaces will be provided.

He said the strategy is to promote demand creation for EVs through the provision of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, the creation of dedicated infrastructure for charging of EVs through the provision of capital subsidies and mandatory use of EVs at the institutional level, starting with public transport and government entities.

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