Govt allows sale, registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries

The battery, which accounts for about 30-40 per cent of the total cost of EVs, can be provided separately by companies

The prototype of the electrical vehicle and the battery (regular or swappable) are required to be type-approved by the test agencies specified under Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. Representational image: iStock

The government on Wednesday (August 12) said it has allowed the sale and registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries, a move which will reduce the upfront cost of these vehicles.

The battery, which accounts for about 30-40 per cent of the total cost of EVs, can be provided separately by companies, it added.

“The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has allowed registration of electric vehicles without pre-fitted batteries. In a letter to Transport Secretaries of all the States and UTs, the ministry has clarified that vehicles without batteries can be sold and registered based on the type approval certificate issued by the Test Agency,” the ministry said in a statement.

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It said there is no need to specify the make/type or any other details of the battery for the purpose of registration.

However, the prototype of the electrical vehicle and the battery (regular or swappable) are required to be type-approved by the test agencies specified under Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

An official told LiveMint that the usage of swappable batteries may help reduce the time needed for charging and using vehicles. “Battery swapping has been a successful model in some South-East Asian nations such as Taiwan. The model is not prevalent in India as the government did not allow registration of electric vehicles without its battery,” LiveMint quoted the official as saying.

He added that the government’s move may benefit the two-wheeler segment in urban areas the most.

Meanwhile, the advisory to principal secretaries and transport secretaries of states said the government is striving to create an ecosystem to accelerate the uptake of electric mobility in the country.

“It is time to come together to work jointly to achieve the broader national agenda to reduce vehicular pollution and oil import bill. This will not only protect the environment and reduce the oil import bill but also provide opportunities to sunrise industries,” it said.

The ministry said for the promotion of electric vehicles, recommendations were brought to its notice to delink the cost of battery from the vehicle cost.

This will make the upfront cost of electric two- and three-wheelers lower than that of internal combustion engine (ICE) variants, it added.

“The battery could be provided separately by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or the energy service provider,” it said.

This approval comes at a time when India is still struggling to push for use of electric vehicles since it is more expensive. The issue of lack of charging infrastructure for e-vehicles is another major hurdle in the implementation of the e-vehicles idea.

(With inputs from agencies)

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