Union Budget 22 Expectations: Big push for e-bicycle industry needed for faster adoption of EVs
Kolkata: India’s Electric Vehicle (EV) industry has expanded fast over the last year as the government pushed for electric mobility with the help of FAME II subsidies. The Union Budget 2022-23 is expected to propose several schemes and policies for the growth of the emerging EV industry.
Ankit Kumar, CEO of Gozero Mobility, feels the electric bicycle industry has been overlooked by the government even as it has been pushing for faster adoption of eco-friendly electric two-wheelers.
Kumar points out that the rate of adoption of electric scooters on Indian roads is still low primarily due to the heavy upfront cost and the lack of charging infrastructure despite EV subsidy programs, FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicle).
Due to their ease of use and maintenance, low upfront cost, high energy efficiency and portable design, electric bicycles are the right transportation medium for the government, he says.
“E-bikes have rapidly been seen as the most viable option for intra-city mobility. Delivery personnel, for ex., have seen an effective rise in delivery fulfilments when using e-bikes as opposed to the traditional scooter and motorcycle. E-bikes have become a very eco-friendly alternative to the large two-wheeler using population,” according to Kumar.
The electric bicycle industry is much due for its ask for inclusion into the FAME II subsidy scheme, he remarks.
Sharing his expectations from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the upcoming Union Budget, Kumar said the government should consider incentivizing the consumers, which will provide a big push to the e-Bicycle industry which today stands to be around 40,000 units annual volume.
With correct measures, this volume can go to over a million units per annum in the coming years.
There are very few dedicated bicycle lanes today, and they too are most often occupied by the conventional 2-wheelers.
The government should consider schemes for creating and regulating more dedicated cycling lanes and should be regulated with penalties etc for violators.
Further, the government should offer income tax benefits to consumers who choose e-Bicycles considering fitness and going green aspects, adds Kumar.
Knowing where the country stands with its two-wheeler pollution levels across Indian cities, it is high time that the government takes a stand to make the tough calls for a cleaner, greener urban future across the country, he concludes.