Mumbai: As fuel prices go up, EV sales jump 46 times in four years

With skyrocketing fuel prices not fitting middle-class budgets any longer, the demand for green vehicles is fast rising. In the past four years, the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has risen astronomically in Mumbai.

The number of EVs registered from January to June this year touched 1,146, which is 46 times more than 2017, when just 25 vehicles were registered in four Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) of Tardeo, Andheri, Wadala and Borivali. In 2020, 1,085 electric vehicles were registered at these RTOs.

“We expect a gradual rise in demand. It will take time for people to realise the benefits of EVs. There are quite a few benefits. For instance, these vehicles are noiseless and low maintenance,” said Avinash Dhakne, Maharashtra transport commissioner.

Sources in the transport sector said the EV industry has been waiting to take off for long, and has been positively impacted by consistent rise in fuel prices.

Of the four RTOs, Tardeo registered the maximum number (415) of EVs. This was followed by Andheri, Borivali and Wadala RTOs at 295, 248 and 188 EVs, respectively. In 2019, the total number of EVs registered at the four RTOs was 313, in 2018 there were 85 EVs registered, while in 2017 there were merely 25 EVs registered with RTOs.

Sandeep Bangia, head of EV charging, home automation & ESCO at Tata Power, said awareness about the benefits of EVs has increased significantly, which is reflected in sales. He said, “We welcome this transition to electric mobility and are well-geared to enable this shift and further the growth of this ecosystem. In addition to our current 500-plus charging points, we at Tata Power are quickly ramping up installations of EV charging points across the country.” Bangia said by reducing the anxiety around charging, one can facilitate the purchase decision for a prospective EV buyer.

The Maharashtra government has already created a Draft Electric Vehicle Policy, 2021, that is yet to get Cabinet approval. Sources said once the approval comes in, they expect further rise in EV sales. The policy mentions sops for buyers, mandatory charging points at housing societies, public parking lots, shopping malls and commercial office complexes.

Sources said the number of CNG and hybrid vehicles too is seeing a rise. According to figures, the total number of CNG vehicles registered between January and June 2021 in Mumbai is 1,328; last year, 2,368 CNG vehicles were registered. In 2017, the four RTOs registered 995 CNG vehicles. Likewise in 2017, there were 89 hybrid (petrol) vehicles registered, which rose to 2,909 vehicles in 2020. In the first six months this year, 1,988 hybrids were registered.

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