Another issue was the potential for standardised batteries to become commodities fast, eliminating the competitive advantages of different businesses.

Industry opposes standardisation, stalls battery swapping policy

The battery swapping policy released by Niti Aayog in April last year has been stalled following opposition from the industry over interoperability standards stated in the draft scheme. The policy aimed to make charging EVs as quick as refuelling conventional vehicles. Now, a highly “watered down” version of the scheme is being considered, reported the Economic Times. Standardised battery dimensions and specifications for use in vehicles with battery switching, particularly two- and three-wheelers, were included in the draft policy. This was done so that EV customers, independent of the brand of their car or battery, may quickly swap out their discharged batteries for fully charged ones at any swapping station. Companies opposed the scheme’s main interoperability idea, however, as it would have required them to update their current infrastructure and production-ready prototypes to comply with the new standardised criteria. Another issue was the potential for standardised batteries to become commodities fast, eliminating the competitive advantages of different businesses.

EV transition timelines too tight, need relaxation: Industry bodies to Delhi govt 

The Delhi government has been urged to relax the deadlines for EV transition that it set forth in its draft aggregator policy by numerous organisations representing the tech and internet industries, including Nasscom, IndiaTech, and IAMAI. These bodies have made the case that a hasty switch to EVs could have an adverse effect on the livelihoods of gig workers in Delhi who had purchased conventionally powered two-wheelers. The electrification mandates seem “impossible to achieve” given the short deadlines, the absence of supporting infrastructure, and the low availability of EVs in Delhi, particularly in the 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler segments.

Additionally, they said that the plan places the burden of transition on the platforms, which have no control over the vehicles. Since the vehicles belong to the gig workers, it has to be their decision to switch to electric automobiles. Therefore, such a regulation will result in entry obstacles for people who cannot afford an EV.

Karnataka govt may remove 100% EV road tax exemption, producers concerned

Karnataka’s transport department recommended ending the 100% exemption from road taxes and replacing it with a 50% road tax for electric vehicles, Money  Control reported. Concerns about the potential removal of the MV tax exemption have been expressed by EV firms and potential customers because it would result in increased prices for EVs in the state. While EV usage has grown in Karnataka in recent years, the higher costs may put off some potential buyers from making the move. According to statistics, the state has almost 3 crore registered automobiles, including 2.37 lakh EVs. Karnataka has seen a considerable increase in the number of EVs registered, going from 6,152 in 2019 to 9,716 in 2020, 33,314 in 2021, and 95,934 in 2022. About 77,711 EVs were registered in Karnataka between January 1, 2023, and July 6, 2023. 

Tamil Nadu could bring in 35% of all EV investments in India till 2030

The Tamil Nadu government said the state anticipates receiving about 35% of all EV investments that the country will bring in through 2030, Business Standard reported. Ola, Ather, and TVS Motor, the top three manufacturers in the EV two-wheeler market at the moment, are all from Tamil Nadu. The state also manufactures about 68% of all EV two-wheelers sold in India. Major industry players like Hyundai, Ola Electric, Ather, Renault-Nissan and TVS Motor have lined up their electric vehicle investment plans in the state, taking the projected EV investments in the state to approximately ₹43,000 crore, one of the highest in India. To improve the local consumption, the state is developing the EV ready infrastructure in six cities, including Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, Salem, and Tirunelveli. 

First batch of four e-buses rolled out in Kargil

In an effort to build Leh and Kargil smart cities and turn Ladakh into a carbon-neutral Union Territory, the first batch of four electric buses has been introduced in Kargil, the Economic Times reported. One bus would travel around Kargil town anticlockwise, stopping at the new district hospital’s location, and another would make three daily excursions from Kargil to Sankoo. The third e-bus will run daily from Kargil to Drass and back to Kargil, while the fourth e-bus will run daily from Kargil to Leh.

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