Bihar Govt approves new electric vehicle policy

Date: December 06, 2023. — The Bihar Government has given a green push to the transport sector by approving a new electric vehicle policy that aims to promote eco-friendly mobility and reduce air pollution in the state. The policy, unveiled on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, aims to create a manufacturing ecosystem for electric vehicles (EVs). It also seeks to generate employment opportunities in the state.

The policy’s primary objective is to reduce the reliance on petrol and diesel vehicles. It aims to increase the share of EVs in the total vehicle registrations to 15% by 2028. The policy also envisages that the state transport department will acquire 400 electric buses. These buses will be operated on various routes.

The state’s comprehensive policy on electric vehicles (EVs) provides a range of enticing incentives and subsidies for both buyers and manufacturers. These include a reduced upfront purchase price for hybrid and electric vehicles under the FAME II scheme. A special grant of Rs. 10,000 per kWh is provided for manual pedal rickshaw pullers transitioning to 100% electric mobility. Grant exemptions, such as 100% road tax and registration fee waivers for EVs, 50% for strong hybrid vehicles, and 25% for CNG vehicles. EVs, whether private or commercial, are entitled to a distinctive green plate registration. They also enjoy additional benefits such as toll charge and public parking lot exemptions. Furthermore, the policy extends a 10% interest subvention to buyers of light electric freight vehicles or e-buses. It also provides this benefit to pedal rickshaw fleet owners undertaking the conversion or upgradation to 100% electric mobility.

The policy also encourages the establishment of charging stations and battery swapping facilities through public-private partnerships. The policy states that the authorities will set up charging stations at bus depots and fueling stations. The government will provide land and power supply at concessional rates for setting up such facilities.

The policy aims to foster growth and ingenuity in the electric vehicle (EV) sector by offering enticing incentives for manufacturers and service providers. Among the benefits offered are a 15% capital subsidy on fixed capital investments for EV manufacturing units. Full reimbursement of state GST payments is provided for the initial five years of operation. Additionally, a 75% reimbursement of stamp duty and registration charges is available for the acquisition or leasing of land for EV manufacturing units. These provisions collectively aim to stimulate investment and innovation, propelling the development and sustainability of the EV industry.

The policy also envisages the creation of a dedicated EV cell under the transport department to monitor and facilitate the implementation of the policy. The policy also states that the government will conduct awareness campaigns and workshops. These initiatives aim to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) among the public and stakeholders.

The EV industry and environmentalists have welcomed the policy, hailing it as a progressive and visionary step to boost the green economy and combat climate change. The relevant departments and stakeholders are expected to finalize the policy within the next few months after consultations.

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