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Stakeholders in auto sector should have more freedom

In a sop to electric vehicle (EV) makers and buyers, the government has allowed the registration of vehicles without pre-fitted batteries. Since the cost of battery is 30-40 per cent of the vehicle, the registration will cost less.

In a letter to all states and Union Territories, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has clarified that vehicles without batteries can be sold and registered based on the type approval certificate issued by the Test Agency, an official press release said. “Further, that there is no need to specify the make/type or any other details of the battery for the purpose of registration.”

However, the prototypes of the electrical vehicle and the battery are required to conform to stipulations.

The letter also said, “The government is striving to create an ecosystem to accelerate the uptake of electric mobility in the country. It is time to come together to work jointly to achieve the broader national agenda to reduce vehicular pollution and oil import bill. This will not only protect the environment and reduce the oil import bill but also provide opportunities to sun rise industry.”

The EV industry has given the thumbs up to the move. Hero Electric managing director Naveen Munjal said, “The policy is a welcome move. I am excited about the possibilities that exist in making EVs accessible to every individual in the country. All we need is a combination of such pioneering policies for it to work in the long term” (https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/technology/auto/government-allows-sales-of-electric-vehicles-without-batteries-5692441.html).

Amit Raj Singh, co-founder & managing director, GEMOPAI, echoed a similar view.

The MoRTH’s decision indeed will help the EV industry, making their vehicles cheaper. The buyer, quite apart from benefiting from the lower cost, will also have the freedom to pick the battery of their choice.

The Ministry will be well advised to boost the entire auto sector, which has been suffering even before the outbreak of the coronavirus. The decline was caused in no small measure by its own policy flip-flops. Sudden announcements and irresponsible statements from important government functionaries did a great deal of harm to the sector.

As it has done in the case of the EV battery, the MoRTH should offer freedom to EV makers, other manufacturers, and customers. After all, it is people who create wealth and make economy grow..