Extensive measures lined up to boost use of electric vehicles in Kerala

50% tax cut on electric vehicles for the first 5 years; e-vehicles registered from April 1 this year to benefit

As part of efforts to provide a boost to electric mobility in the state, the Kerala government has lined up extensive measures in its Electric Vehicle Policy.

The policy will have as its main objectives implementing all possible steps towards encouraging electric vehicle use in the state.

Innovative schemes are being implemented in the state by formulating electric vehicle policy, Minister for Transport Anthony Raju said today, adding that in addition to attractive incentives, subsidies for systems to replace fossil fuel vehicles, acquisition of electric vehicles, infrastructure for charging, retro-fitting, incentive measures such as shared mobility and allied transportation, other schemes are also envisaged.

As a precursor to larger announcements, the one-time tax on private electric motorcycles, electric motor cars, private service vehicles and electric three-wheelers registered in the state has been fixed at 5 per cent of the price under the Finance Act, 2020. The one-time tax on other vehicles ranges between 9 per cent and 21 per cent.

Besides, a 50 per cent reduction in the tax on electric vehicles registered from April 1, 2021, has also been brought in for the first five years from the date of registration.

E-autorickshaws fully exempted from tax in Kerala electric vehicles push

In an attempt to pass on the benefits of electric mobility to the common man, electric autorickshaws have been fully exempted from tax for the first five years from the date of registration. Electric autorickshaw owners with an annual income of up to Rs 3 lakh have been sanctioned a subsidy of Rs. 30,000.

Electric vehicles have been exempted from obtaining permits. The Minister also pointed out that the Central Motor Vehicle Act 81 has been amended to waive the registration fee for electric vehicles.

The government has also entrusted the task of setting up electric vehicle charging stations to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which has been chosen as the nodal agency in this regard.

This is currently in the implementation stage, with six charging stations having been set up in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur districts. Work is currently on to set up charging stations at 26 more locations.

State sets aside Rs 12 crore budget to popularise EVs

Significant is the fact that the Kerala government has earmarked an amount to the tune of Rs 12 crore in the 2021-22 budget towards popularizing electric vehicles.

In addition to this, in the 2021-22 revised budget speech, the finance minister had agreed to allot fuel to low-cost and eco-friendly electric two-wheelers and electric autorickshaws used by newspaper distributors, fish sellers, retailers and home delivery operators.

Towards this effect, a loan scheme of Rs 200 crore is being implemented to purchase 10,000 two-wheelers and 5,000 autorickshaws this financial year. A part of the interest will be borne by the government. An amount of Rs 15 crore has been set apart for giving interest relief.

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