Karnataka’s EV policy has little for consumers | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Some states, like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi, are providing large subsidies to consumers to encourage mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). But the Karnataka government’s policy, released earlier this year, has little on this front. The policy focuses mostly on drawing EV makers and investors to the state.
It offers 15 per cent capital subsidy to investors in the sector on the value of fixed assets over five equal annual payments, with maximum land covered being 50 acres, and a production-linked subsidy of 1 per cent on turnover. The latter will be provided to large EV assembly and manufacturing units for five years, starting from the first year of commercial operations.

But such incentives have not helped the cause of consumers: prices of EVs have not come down in the state as they were expected to. Take the example of an electric scooter launched recently. According to reports, its two variants are priced at Rs 99,999 and Rs 1.2 lakh in Karnataka. In Gujarat, they will be available for Rs 80,000 and Rs 1 lakh, and for Rs 85,000 and Rs 1.1 lakh in Delhi.
By not offering a subsidy to EV buyers, the Karnataka government appears to be guarding itself against more pandemic-triggered financial setbacks and cuts in central devolution of funds.
“Our electric vehicle policy is directed towards ensuring that more manufacturers come to Karnataka rather than pushing sales. We hope that the subsidies provided to the sector by the government will eventually be passed on to consumers,” said additional chief secretary for industries department EV Ramana Reddy.
According to a senior official in the industries department, it is ready to incorporate incentives for buyers in the policy, but the finance department is not in a position to ratify such a move. “The finance department has cited the fund crunch because of the pandemic,” the official added.
Another official said that the government might consider some steps to boost EV sales. “It is looking at the possibility of providing a certain amount of subsidy to consumers in limited numbers, say, for 50,000 to 1 lakh twoand three-wheelers in the EV segment,” he said.
Industries minister Murugesh R Nirani believes that providing direct concessions to consumers may be very difficult because of the current financial constraints. “While Maharashtra and Gujarat may be keen on driving demand, our policy is veered towards increasing the supply. We believe that the existing policy and sops given to manufacturers will drive down the basic price of the vehicle, and the price will eventually match the rates in other states,” he said.
He added that the government would study EV pricing in other states to ascertain how best Karnataka could compete. Karnataka unveiled an EV policy in 2017, becoming the first state to do so. Later, it made amendments.

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