Electric vehicle rules in India are necessary to regulate the operation of the vehicle and related industries in the nation. Another objective of the rules is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
With the increasing global concern over climate change and the need to transition towards cleaner and more sustainable modes of transportation, countries around the world have been formulating regulations to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).
India, as one of the fastest-growing automotive markets and a significant contributor to pollution, has implemented specific rules and incentives to accelerate the adoption of EVs.
In this article, we will explore the contrasting regulations between electric vehicles and conventional vehicles in India.
Electric Vehicle Rules in India & Its Comparison with Conventional Vehicles
#1. Purchase Incentives
One of the significant differences between EVs and conventional vehicles lies in the purchase incentives offered by the Indian government.
To promote the widespread adoption of EVs, the government has implemented various financial incentives, such as subsidies and tax exemptions, which are not available to conventional vehicles.
These incentives significantly reduce the upfront cost of EVs, making them more affordable and attractive to potential buyers.
Electric vehicles in India are eligible for the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme, which provides subsidies based on the battery capacity of the vehicle.
The FAME II scheme, introduced in 2019, focuses on supporting electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers used for commercial purposes.
Under this scheme, eligible EVs receive a subsidy ranging from 10% to 50% of the vehicle’s cost, depending on the type and capacity of the battery. In contrast, conventional vehicles do not benefit from such direct financial incentives.
#2. License and Registration
While the process of obtaining a driver’s license and vehicle registration remains the same for both electric and conventional vehicles, there are a few variations specific to EVs.
In some states of India, EVs are exempted from paying road tax during registration, which is a significant advantage over conventional vehicles. This exemption significantly reduces the initial cost of EV ownership, making them an attractive option for prospective buyers.
Additionally, some states have streamlined the process for obtaining a license for electric scooters and bikes. Recognizing the potential of electric two-wheelers as a sustainable alternative, states like Maharashtra and Gujarat have introduced a simplified and expedited license issuance process for electric scooters.
This approach encourages individuals to switch to electric two-wheelers by reducing bureaucratic hurdles and making it easier to own and operate an EV.
#3. Charging Infrastructure
The establishment of an adequate charging infrastructure is crucial for the widespread adoption of EVs. Recognizing this, the Indian government has taken initiatives to promote the installation of charging stations across the country.
Various incentives, such as financial support and simplified regulatory procedures, are provided to encourage the development of public and private charging infrastructure. These measures do not apply to conventional vehicles, as they primarily rely on existing fuel stations.
the FAME II scheme, the government provides financial assistance for the installation of charging stations in public spaces, residential areas, and workplaces. This support aims to address the range anxiety associated with EVs by ensuring convenient access to charging infrastructure.
Furthermore, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has mandated that public charging stations should be treated as a service, enabling individuals and entities to set up charging stations without obtaining a license.
#4. Toll Exemptions
To further incentivize the use of EVs, the Indian government has introduced toll exemptions for electric vehicles. This measure aims to reduce the overall cost of ownership for EV owners, making them an economically viable option for long-distance travel.
In contrast, conventional vehicles are subject to regular toll charges, which can accumulate and increase the cost of commuting or travelling.
Toll exemptions for EVs vary across states in India. For instance, states like Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have announced complete toll exemptions for electric vehicles, while others offer discounts or concessions on toll charges.
This differential treatment reflects the government’s intention to encourage the adoption of EVs and promote their usage on highways and expressways.
#5. Road Tax and Insurance
In most states, EVs enjoy a significant advantage over conventional vehicles when it comes to road tax and insurance. Many states offer substantial discounts on road tax for EVs, reducing the overall cost of ownership.
The rationale behind this incentive is to encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly vehicles and incentivize consumers to choose EVs over conventional options.
Similarly, insurance premiums for EVs are comparatively lower due to their eco-friendly nature and lower risk of accidents. Electric vehicles often come equipped with advanced safety features, including regenerative braking and collision avoidance systems, making them less prone to accidents.
As a result, insurance companies provide lower premiums, making EVs more cost-effective to insure compared to conventional vehicles.
Now let us make sure that the EVs are tested and standardised to ensure safety.
What is ARAI and Why Does It Matter for Indian EVs?
In India, the testing and certification of automobiles are carried out by an independent organisation called ARAI.
- The Automotive Research Association of India, or ARAI was founded In 1966.
- It is the nation’s top organisation for automotive research and development.
- The Government of India’s Ministry of Heavy Industries is connected to ARAI.
- The Government of India designated ARAI as one of the top testing and certification organisations under Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.
ARAI Standards for Electric Vehicles & its Chargers
ARAI has set some Standards for Electric Vehicles & Chargers which are as follows.
It is concerned with the Electric PowerTrain Vehicle’s Construction and Functional Safety Requirements. It includes requirements of a vehicle with regards to specific requirements for the electric power train and requirements of a Rechargeable Electrical Energy Storage System concerning its safety.
It is concerned with the Electric PowerTrain Vehicle’s Measurement of Electrical Energy Consumption. It helps in measuring the consumption of electric energy by electric vehicles.
It is concerned with the Electric PowerTrain Vehicle’s Method of Measuring the Range. It is a range test for the electric vehicles
It is concerned with the Electric PowerTrain Vehicle’s Measurement of Net Power and The Maximum 30 Minute Power. It helps in the measurement of the net power of the electric vehicle and explains the working and benefits of the maximum 30-minute power.
It is concerned with the Electric PowerTrain Vehicle’s CMVR Type Approval for Electric PowerTrain Vehicles. It is a test of grade-ability for electric vehicles. ARAI is committed to developing sustainable mobility solutions for a safer, sustainable and cleaner environment and transportation sector.
India’s electric vehicle regulations stand in contrast to those governing conventional vehicles, reflecting the government’s commitment to promoting sustainable transportation alternatives.
The provision of purchase incentives, streamlined licensing and registration processes, support for charging infrastructure development, toll exemptions, and favourable road tax and insurance policies all contribute to making EVs an attractive option for Indian consumers.
While these rules and incentives are designed to accelerate the transition to electric mobility, it is essential to maintain a balanced approach that considers the needs of both EVs and conventional vehicles.
Striking the right regulatory balance will ensure a seamless transition to a cleaner and more sustainable transportation ecosystem while addressing the requirements of different stakeholders in India’s diverse automotive market.
By encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles, India is taking significant steps toward reducing pollution, mitigating climate change, and creating a more sustainable future for its citizens.
In our previous articles, we have explained other legal obligations like the registration and license requirements for EVs in detail. Make sure to read those articles as well to have a complete understanding of the legal landscape of EVs in India.