The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highway (MoRTH) said in a notice on Wednesday that is has proposed amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 that would do away with registration fees for battery operated or electric vehicles (EVs). The ministry said it issued a draft notification to amend Rule 81 of CMVR to allow this, and is seeking comments and suggestions from stakeholders. However, MediaNama could not find a copy of the draft notification online. We have reached out to Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors for comment on the proposal’s likely impact, and will update this when they reply.

The news comes at a time when the government has been trying to push for the electrification of Indian transport. We reported recently that the NITI Aayog had proposed that only electric vehicles (EV) should be sold after 2030. It had moved a Cabinet note seeking to assign responsibility for different ministers, and for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to prepare a framework to phase out the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030.

What else the NITI Aayog proposed

The NITI Aayog also made the following proposals to MoRTH:

  • MoRTH should be tasked with issuing norms for cab aggregators to replace all fuel-run vehicles with electric vehicles by 2030
  • Ministry of Heavy Industries should work on replacement of fuel powered vehicles of union ministries, agencies and the public sector with EVs by 2030
  • MoRTH should pilot an e-highways program with an overhead electricity network to enable plying of electric trucks and buses on select national highways

As of now, the only government scheme for electric vehicles is FAME (Faster Adoption of Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles), which is currently in its second phase. Interestingly FAME-II, when it was last updated in March, did not provide incentives to private car buyers, unlike FAME-I, which gave buyers a direct subsidy of Rs 1.38 lakh. While FAME-II provides for an even higher subsidy of Rs 1.5 lakh, it is limited only to those buyers who want to put their electric car to commercial use. This had led to confusion for auto makers like Hyundai, which felt that there was not enough clarity in the government’s vision for electric vehicles.