New Delhi has received its first e-taxi service with Gensol Mobility’s Blu-Smart initiative – which has launched 70 li-ion battery powered Mahindra Verito cabs. Blu-Smart will charge customers between Rs.14-16 per km, and aims to boost its cab fleet to 400 by the end of the year. The firm will also soon launch an app for bookings and will reportedly set up 65 charging stations across the NCR for its fleet
NITI suggests zero road tax on EVs, SMEV demands green cess on conventional vehicles
India’s top planning body, NITI Aayog has suggested that EVs be exempted from road taxes to bring their ownership costs down to that of conventional vehicles. The proposal has been sent to state chief secretaries and follows a previous proposal to reduce import duties on EV components from 18% to 5%.
The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) – India’s EV industry body – has, on the other hand, requested that the upcoming interim budget levy a notional Green Cess on conventional vehicles to secure more monetary support towards expanding India’s EV market.
Indian Railways to electrify select tracks, BHEL to set up solar EV chargers on Delhi – Chandigarh highway
The Indian Railways is stepping up its plan to become a net-zero emitter by 2030 and has announced it will source solar power to power locomotives on select tracks in 10 states of the country. The move is likely to phase-out 4GW of coal-fired power.
Meanwhile, India’s heavy machinery giant Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. (BHEL) has announced it will set up multiple rooftop solar-powered EV charging stations along the 250km long Delhi – Chandigarh highway. The DC chargers will have both fast- and slow-charging options and will be funded under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme.
India to receive $300 million from World Bank to expand e-mobility network
India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has confirmed that it will receive $300 million from the World Bank to help expand the country’s e-mobility network. The funds will be sourced through Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) – which pioneered public sector demand for EVs in the country.
The grant will be accompanied by the Centre’s plan to levy one-time charges on conventional 2-, 3- and 4-wheelers to generate an annual corpus of Rs.7,500 crores, which will be used as financial assistance for India’s nascent e-mobility sector.
Trump does a u-turn on EVs, welcomes VW’s investment in Tennessee EV facility
US President Donald Trump has seemingly done a complete u-turn on his public criticism of EVs, and has now welcomed Volkswagen’s plan to invest $800 million in setting up an EV production facility in Tennessee – since it could create several jobs.
Trump had previously criticized General Motors (GM) for its plans to shutter its facilities manufacturing conventional cars and switch to manufacturing EVs instead. Interestingly, the President’s latest opinion may revive federal tax credits for EV customers, which have already expired for GM and Tesla.