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CI_june2017Encourage Hybrids

LAST MONTH THE PRIME TOPIC OF DISCUSSION WAS THE phasing out of BS-III cars overnight from the 1st of April. The next step is to leapfrog BS-V and go straight to BS-VI in 2020. The government may force the manufacturers to produce BS-VI cars but will they be able to provide fuel since the refineries will have to make big investments to produce the fuel required by the BS-VI cars?

Now the government wants to switch directly from internal combustion engine cars to electric propulsion by the year 2030 to reduce pollution, skipping the hybrids in the process. Even today we don’t have enough CNG filling stations. If the authorities were serious about the environment, they would not make people wait for hours to fill their CNG tanks. Instead of promoting CNG and encouraging private car owners to shift“ to a less polluting fuel, they are putting people o” converting to a cheaper and cleaner fuel.

The idea of going to electric propulsion from 2030 seems very far-fetched for even as of today we don’t have 24 x 7 power supply in a city like Pune, forget the rural areas. What about charging stations? Either they will be vandalised overnight or somebody will be powering his home or business from the charging station. The need of the hour is to encourage hybrid cars as they are more e” icient than a small hatch. The sub-four-metre rule should be scrapped and hybrids should be encouraged.

The government has announced the GST rates for automobiles. As expected, they have burdened the luxury cars with a 15 per cent cess and there is no encouragement for hybrid cars since these will also be burdened with the 15 per cent cess. The sub-four-metre cars will enjoy lower taxation irrespective of whether they are fuel-efficient or pollutant.

The final icing on the cake is that the duty on electric vehicles has been doubled. So much for the new automobile policy.

EDITOR – ASPI BHATHENA

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