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India pledges a goal of 15% EVs by 2023

A BYD E6 taxi charges up at a BYD charging station in Shenzhen, China, on Wednesday, 20 September, 2017. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

By BLOOMBERG

NEW DELHI • India aims to have at least 15% of the vehicles on its roads to be electric (EVs) in five years, an official said, signalling the government’s wish to join a long list of countries around the world that are already seeking to cut fossil fuels aggressively.

“If at least 15% comes in the next five years, it will be useful for the country,” Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said yesterday at a conference organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi. “This is a time for the country to think seriously about pollution.”

India has been a laggard in the global race toward electrification of automobiles, with no clear guiding policy unlike China, which has offered hefty subsidies and incentives to promote battery-powered cars in its efforts to reduce dependence on oil imports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration had earlier expressed ambitions of achieving a target of 30% EVs by 2030.

While cumulative global sales of passenger EVs likely surpassed four million last week, with China accounting for more than a third since 2011, India sold an estimated 2,000 EVs last year. EVs may account for about 7% of sales in India by 2030, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

In contrast, China is targeting sales of seven million new EVs by 2025, which may account for 15% of the vehicle market by then.

The Asian giant has offered as much as US$7,000 (RM29,050) in incentives for an EV with a range of 400km and above, making the automobile more affordable to customers.