Youths between 16 and 18 years of age may soon be allowed to ride electric scooters, move aimed at creating niche market

The government is seriously considering allowing youths aged between 16 and 18 to ride electric scooters with 100cc engine capacity, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari said. At present, 16-18-year-olds are legally allowed to drive vehicles with an engine capacity of up to 50cc, but no such vehicles are available in India.

Sources told The Times of India that this move will create a market for electric two-wheelers, which is one of the government’s thrust areas to push electric mobility.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Currently, India has about 1-1.5 lakh electric vehicles, a figure which is projected to grow to about 5 percent of the total vehicles in the next five years, an official told Business Today. Of the about 24 million vehicles sold in India in 2017-18, EVs accounted for barely about one percent, the official said.

Automobile giants have already joined the government in pushing for EVs. For instance, Mahindra Electric and SmartE, an electric vehicle fleet operator, on Wednesday announced plans to deploy 10,000 electric three-wheelers across the country by 2020.

Under the partnership, SmartE will introduce 1,000 Mahindra Treo and Treo Yaari electric three-wheelers in Delhi-NCR by March 2019 with an aim of transforming last mile connectivity.

In addition, Gadkari announced that the government is also planning to mandate taxi aggregators to have an incremental share of electric vehicles from 2020, The Indian Express reported. A similar mandate may be given to all public transport operators, the Business Today report added.

The transport minister also announced the government's decision to approve green licence plates for electric vehicles in the country. "The government has approved distinctive green licence plates for electric vehicles to encourage people to use electric vehicles. Such vehicles will be fitted with green licence plates bearing numbers in white fonts for private cars and yellow font for taxis,"  Business Today quoted him as saying.

A notification about this development will be issued in a week, he said.

Financial Express quoted Gadkari as saying that the implementation of green plates will allow electric vehicles to be easily identified, and will also grant benefits such as preferential treatment in parking lots, free entry in congested zones and reduced toll charges.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 13, 2018 11:41:34 IST

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