The government of Himachal Pradesh has proposed a new Electric Vehicle Policy-2021, aimed at promoting sustainable, safe, environmentally friendly, inclusive and integrated mobility solutions, and making Himachal a model state for the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) among the hilly states.
The main goal is to ensure that battery electric vehicles (BEVS) account for at least 15% of new vehicle registrations by 2025, said transport director Anupam Kashyap.
He said the government will encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in all segments and will also create a network of public charging stations. At least one charging station would be made available in each 1 km x 1 km network in large towns and villages, and at least one slow charging station (on each side) would be created every 25 km on national highways. At least one fast-charging station (on each side) every 50 km on busy national highways will also be deployed.
He said the policy aims to make three cities – Shimla, Baddi and Dharamshala – model cities for EV readiness and adoption. In addition, it also provides for the electrification of buses and taxis of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC).
“The government aims to create employment opportunities related to the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem in the state,” he said.
Funding and implementation
Kashyap said that a state fund for electric vehicles would be created using an “fee rebate structure,” in which a fee is applied to ICE vehicles to raise funds that are reimbursed in the form of discounts in the form of incentives.
The state EV fund will be capitalized 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 reduction on gasoline and diesel vehicles sold in the state.
Apart from this, the funds will be generated by the air quality parking surcharge applicable to ICE vehicles and the penalties imposed on vehicles entering or idling in low / zero emission zones during periods decided by urban development agencies.
The policy also proposes to establish a State Secretariat for the VE to ensure the effective financing and implementation of the policy under the supervision of the high-level committee.
He said the government will also hold regular consultations with industry and other stakeholders to ensure smooth implementation of the policy and its provisions.
In addition, an awareness campaign will be launched to promote electric vehicles and their benefits.
Tax and non-tax exemptions
Under this policy, all electric vehicles have been exempt from paying road tax under the Himachal Pradesh Motor Vehicle Taxation Act. Commercial electric vehicles have also been exempted from the licensing requirement.
The director said that at least one low-emission / zero-emission zone in each of the three model cities will be created where only electric vehicles, walking and cycling will be allowed. Tourist sites, ecologically sensitive areas and classified forests will be identified by the urban development agency and schedules and regulations will be notified accordingly.
In addition, a reserve percentage of parking spaces for electric vehicles (with charging infrastructure) in high volume parking spaces will be provided.
He said the strategy is to promote the creation of demand for electric vehicles through the provision of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, the creation of dedicated infrastructure for electric vehicle charging through the provision of subsidies in capital and compulsory use of electric vehicles at the institutional level, starting with public transport and government entities.
The state has over 18 lakh of registered vehicles (both private and transport) of which 233 are battery operated.
HRTC currently operates 50 electric buses and 75 electric buses. Fifty buses run in Shimla and 25 on the Manali Road to Rohtang Pass.
The state has been sanctioned 100 e-buses under FAME II.