Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, answered a question about “electric vehicles and charging stations” in parliament today during Question Time that the cost of electric vehicles will be equal to that of petrol within two years.
“I assure Parliament that within two years the cost of electric two-wheelers, electric three-wheelers and electric four-wheelers will be equal to that of petrol vehicles and the country will change,” said Mr Gadkari.
“…Because of petrol and diesel we are facing critical problems. We are already seeing…,” he said, referring to the steepest 10-day rise in fuel prices in at least 20 years.
Petrol and diesel prices rose again on Thursday for the ninth time in the past 10 days since the end of a four and a half month hiatus in the tariff review on March 22. Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state, depending on the occurrence of local taxes.
Mr Gadkari also said MPs will be able to purchase electric vehicles once a charging station has been installed in the parliament building.
The minister said the government’s policy is import substitution, cost-effectiveness, pollution-free and indigenous production.
“This is the only alternative, namely green hydrogen, electricity, ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, bio-LNG and bio-CNG… We will work in that direction,” he added.
Mr Gadkari asked Speaker Om Birla to provide enough space to start electric charging stations in all Parliament’s parking lots so that MPs can buy electric cars.
“They can come here to charge their cars here, in the parliament building. In every government building, we expect the possibility of electric charging in the parking system,” he said.
In a lighter spirit, Mr Birla said it can be provided on a payment basis.
The minister said there is good development regarding charging stations and the Ministry of Energy has issued charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and added that there are revised consolidated guidelines and standards to accelerate the e-mobility transition in the country.
He said the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is developing roadside facilities every 40 kilometers and is trying to use solar or wind energy for that purpose.
Gadkari said electric charging stations should be provided with these facilities on the side of the road.
The NHAI has already awarded 39 roadside facilities and a proposal for 103 such facilities is in the tendering phase. More than 600 locations have been identified and bidding will open soon, the minister added.
The Bureau of Indian Standards is working to improve charging station standards as charging technology in the world is changing rapidly, Mr Gadkari said.