New Maharashtra EV policy will expedite transition, say experts

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Maharashtra government has issued a new electric vehicle (EV) policy. This policy aims to make 10 percent of new vehicle registrations under electric and have 25 percent electrification of public transport and last mile delivery by 2025. Sunil Bohra, ED & Group CFO, Minda Industries and Sanjay Thakker, Founder & Chairman, Group Landmark, discussed the policy with CNBC-TV18.

Maharashtra government has issued a new electric vehicle (EV) policy. This policy aims to make 10 percent of new vehicle registrations under electric and have 25 percent electrification of public transport and last-mile delivery by 2025.
Sunil Bohra, ED & Group CFO, Minda Industries, and Sanjay Thakker, Founder & Chairman, Group Landmark, discussed the policy with CNBC-TV18.
Bohra said, “The policy is actually towards the right step, which the central government has been talking about as well, moving towards more battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rather than internal combustion engine (ICE), so it is definitely a step forward. It also spells out about mandatory parking. You need to have mandatory parking in the new construction for 20 percent for residential businesses, complexes, 25 percent for commercial, and 100 percent for government enterprises. There are various steps which the government is taking, definitely, this will sort of expedite the transition to EVs.”
“The biggest factor also at play is the cost of the vehicle, how it sort of pans down, because still even with a subsidy, there is a gap between IC engine and EV. Overall, definitely, it is a positive step and it will bring a lot of confidence among the common man in terms of the infrastructure for charging, availability, reducing the cost, even the running cost definitely is going to be very negligible so overall, we do hope that this provides support to transition in a faster way.”
Thakker said, “For passenger cars, it is a slow start and I think less than 1 percent of the vehicles sold today are electric vehicles. Everybody believes that is something which will increase over a period of time but it is a slow start and it depends largely on the charging infrastructure, the government subsidies, and resale value of the cars. Fear that many people have in their minds is that what would be the resale value of the electric vehicle if they were to buy it.”
He added, “The banks may also be a little bit cagey to fund these vehicles at this point where the technology is kind of getting better by the day and the resale value is a little bit uncertain.”
On the demand situation, Thakker said, “It is again a second time of V shape recovery that we are seeing. I am happy to state that the demand is back with a bang and we have a waiting period for most of the vehicles that we sell. This month of July is looking maybe around 30 percent better than the last week of June. Contracts are pouring in and we actually are seeing excellent rebound which I did not expect.”
On EV order book, Bohra said, “From both the components, be it the traditional components or EV specific components, we have actually secured business for both the sets from the existing players and also we have got some business from the new players because a lot of imports are also happening and they are also working to sort of localise to benefit from FAME 2 policy, etc.”
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