Ahmedabad:Even as state and central governments push for the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) through policy initiatives and subsidies, the EV demand has failed to change gears because charging stations are still inadequate in Gujarat. According to the data tabled in the Parliament by the Union ministry of power, Gujarat has only 27 public charging stations. The state currently has about 13,270 active electric vehicles.Charging infrastructure is a pre-requisite for EV adoption. But the number of public charging stations in Gujarat is dramatically lower than in various other states such as Delhi (322), Maharashtra (88), Uttar Pradesh (108), and Tamil Nadu (94).
The Gujarat Electric Vehicle Policy 2021 provides a subsidy of up to Rs 20,000 for EVs in the two-wheeler category, Rs 50,000 for three-wheelers, and up to Rs 1.5 lakh for cars. Over and above this, even the central government has extended subsidies under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME)-II. The subsidy is based on the battery capacity.
Dealers said that the limited number of public charging stations across Gujarat is one of the major problems in selling EVs, particularly cars.Interestingly, EV sales in Gujarat reported at least a tenfold growth in November with 1,755 vehicles sold this year against 149 sold last year, according to the data of Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association (FADA). In the recently concluded Navratri-Diwali festive season, 2,471 EVs were sold across Gujarat — up 846% against the sale of 247 EVs during last year’s festive season, according to FADA’s data.
“Most of these vehicles are two-wheelers. The proportion of car sales is significantly less. The main reason is poor charging infrastructure here,” said Pranav Shah, chairman, Gujarat region, FADA. “People buy two-wheelers largely to commute within the city. However, car buyers always consider travelling over longer distances.” Shah added: “With limited charging infrastructure, car sales are still relatively muted.”
Industry stakeholders emphasized the need to improve charging infrastructure and to set up more public charging stations to propel EV sales.
“Customers want to invest in EVs particularly because of the subsidy and lesser cost of ownership as compared to vehicles powered by petrol and diesel,” Shah said. “However, because of inadequate charging infrastructure, reluctance prevails among customers.”