Tamil Nadu extends 100% road tax exemption for EVs till 2025

Tamil Nadu has extended a 100% motor vehicle tax exemption for electric vehicles to be registered in the State. About 67,000 battery-operated vehicles were registered in the state in 2022. The 100% road tax exemption period for electric vehicles in the state earlier ended on December 31, 2022. Now, to keep the momentum going, the battery-operated vehicles that are registered between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2025 are eligible for the exemption. The exemption covers both transport and non-transport categories.

In order to promote faster adoption of battery electric vehicles and to support the EV ecosystem, the EV industry requested the State government to extend the sops for a few more years. Beyond the high initial cost, which has been largely offset by a 100% tax exemption, a lower EV tariff would make it possible to expand a larger public charging network, which is one of the main obstacles to the adoption of EVs.

Maharashtra signs a $2.5 Bn deal for EV battery-swapping stations

To establish battery-swapping and charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in the state, Maharashtra has entered a $2.5 billion partnership with Taiwan’s Gogoro Inc and an  Indian company, Belrise Industries Ltd, an automotive systems supplier. The government of Maharashtra will receive an investment from both businesses over an eight-year period in the form of an equal-stakes joint venture. According to the non-binding agreement, the project’s deployment will start this year with intentions to apply the solutions to other  industries like agriculture and energy storage.

Electric vehicle owners can swap their batteries for fully charged ones at a utility station in a process known as battery-swapping, which is quickly becoming a major method of EV charging.  Although switching batteries can shorten charging periods, the lack of universal battery standards is preventing widespread use.

Housing societies skeptical of EV charging points in premises

Many EV adopters in the country are facing an unanticipated barrier as not all residential societies seem keen on installing EV charging points. Various Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) across the country are skeptical of installing EV charging stations for multiple reasons. In some cases, for instance, residents are not allowed to set up a charger in their allotted parking spaces because then only those  particular individuals can use it. So, the process will have to be repeated every time any resident buys an EV. In another case, despite the power ministry clarifying that it is legal for EV owners to charge their EVs using their domestic electricity connection, some are told not to by their RWAs. Other reasons include the risk of a fire, load on the grid, long time taken for charging, unwillingness to let residents drill holes in walls, lack of awareness, etc.

Therefore, there’s a demand for a legal framework and specific guidelines on private charging facilities, which will cater to the lack of awareness among RWAs and will save EV buyers from harassment. Some EV owners have even filed cases against their societies due to such harassment. 

Toyota plans to retrofit old vehicle with electric motor

Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota has reportedly announced that the automaker is planning to transform oldercars into vehicles running on clean technology to further drive EV adoption. Toyota will help customers of old cars in converting their vehicles into eco-friendly cars and reducing carbon emissions from the environment. Up until now Toyota has been reluctant in producing fully electric vehicles due to previously sluggish demand and the high cost related to manufacturing them.

In December 2021, the automaker even pledged to sell 3.5 million EVs annually by 2030.The automaker recently showcased a number of alternative fuel models at the 2023 Auto Expo. 

EV battery-maker Britishvolt declares insolvency, hundreds lose jobs

Britishvolt, a manufacturer of EV batteries, declared bankruptcy after months of trying to raise money to keep afloat, affecting hundreds of jobs. EY claimed that the company had entered administration as a result of insufficient equity investment. The company intended to build a gigafactory to produce electric batteries in Northumberland. After failing to raise enough cash for its research and the development of its Cambois site, it has now appointed administrators at EY. The bulk of its 300 employees have been made redundant after the electric car battery maker entered insolvency. 

Last year the chairman of the company, Lars Carlstrom, resigned after it was revealed that he had been convicted of tax fraud in Sweden more than 20 years ago, casting serious doubt on the company’s future.

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