New Delhi: The Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy, announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 7 August, aims at zero-emission, but depends entirely on its implementation and vision of integrated transport system to achieve the goal of last-mile connectivity.  Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Akshima Ghate, Director of RMI India, an independent think-tank that drafted the EV policy for the Delhi government, said: “Not challenges, but there will be urgent and important work that would need to be done to get the policy rolling. Incentive disbursement mechanisms will have to be put in place along with necessary regulatory amendments/ notifications to enable potential EV consumers to access incentives.”  Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, Research and Advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment, told The Sunday Guardian: “Now, we have the policy; the real task is in the implementation details which have to be carried out very quickly and with a good planning design.” Pointing out the need for such policies to be “people-centric and not car-centric”, she told this correspondent, “One very major strategy besides EVs to control pollution should be the massive scaling up of public transport and walking cycling facilities, so that one could reduce the dependence on personal vehicles. We need to integrate all the public transport systems to make it easier to switch from one mode to another in the city. And, then, as part of last-mile connectivity, there is a need to create a very good network of footpath and cycle tracks.” The policy has planned to put on ground adequate charging infrastructure and a mix of both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, something that other cities have derailed in their approach towards zero-emission.

It will provide an incentive of up to Rs 30,000 on electric two-wheelers, electric autos and e-rickshaws, and up to Rs 1.5 lakh on electric cars. It also utilises non-fiscal incentives like waivers on road tax, registration fees; green registration plates for EVs; and use of regulatory instruments like open permits for e-autos, traffic and parking related exemptions to trigger demand for EVs. The first leg of the policy aims to install 200 charging stations in Delhi over the next one year so that there is a charging station every 3 km.  Akshima Ghate told The Sunday Guardian, “The key decisive issues during policy formulation have largely been around–choice of vehicle segments, nature and quantum of incentives, technologies to be considered and models for rolling our charging infrastructure. A key concern of any policy of this nature that targets significant demand creation is the availability of products/quality products to keep pace with/match demand.”