The government of India has decided to approve a $4.13-billion plan to stimulate the production of electric and hybrid vehicles over the next eight years. The country is setting for itself the target of 6 million vehicles by the year 2020.
There isn’t really an electric and hybrid vehicle industry in India currently. Most car manufacturers in India focus on low-emission cars, because of the “prohibitively high costs of new technologies and an almost non-existent support infrastructure.”
“The question is the viability… The cost of the car and how much the consumer can pay, there is a gap,” said Pawan Goenka, chairman of Mahindra Reva, India’s only electric-focused carmaker.
The announced target of 6 million green vehicles by 2020 (most of which are expected to be two-wheelers) is arriving on the heels of China’s announcement that it aims to have 500,000 electric and hybrid cars in use by the year 2015.
“Reva, controlled by Mahindra & Mahindra, aims for sales of 30,000 of its battery-run cars a year by 2016.”
The secretary of India’s Heavy Industries ministry is quoted as saying that New Delhi itself will provide “around 130 to 140 billion rupees of the total investment in the plan,” the remainder will be provided by private companies.
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“We will put in some specific schemes with regard to subsidy element, R&D, demand creation and infrastructure,” the secretary told reporters. “More individual schemes will come out at a later date.”
The growing market for electric vehicles in India crashed in April when the government withdrew its subsidies “worth up to 100,000 rupees (roughly $1800) per vehicle.”