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In order to curb the growing menace of pollution in the country, the government is mulling over a ban on all fossil fuel operated vehicles that have a displacement of 150cc or lower. This includes a large part of the commuter segment scooters, two-wheelers, and rickshaws in the market. A leading daily has reported that the government is currently considering imposing a ban on all such three-wheeler vehicles by the April of 2023 and all such two-wheelers by the April of 2025. Is this ban comes into effect, it will impact the sales of nearly 2 crore units annually and will also effect around three-fourths of the traffic plying on Indian roads.
With that being said, the current owners of vehicles with a displacement of 150cc and lower need not be alarmed as the move will only impact the vehicles once it comes into effect. Meaning that the vehicles purchased before the enforcement of the law will not be impacted by the rule. The news about the government mulling a ban on 150cc and lower displacement fossil fuel vehicles comes close to the heels of the decision to jump straight to BS-VI emission norms. The government had already taken a major step when it announced that the country will be skipping the BS-V emission norms and will jump straight to BS-VI emission norms from BS-IV emission norms in order to tackle the raising pollution in the nation.
If and when the decision is enforced, it would mean that the market will no longer have fossil fuel options in the vehicle category of 150cc and lower and this range will only have electric vehicles after that. However, even the current deadline for the enforcement of the norms is very far away and the market will change in a major way before that. Apart from two-wheelers and three-wheelers below or equal to 150cc, the government also has plans to ban delivery vehicles, city buses and school buses that run on fossil fuels. This move will though not impact private vehicle owners, it will surely have an impact on the industry and we can witness electric mobility solutions come to the fore in a major manner if the latter half of the ban comes into force.
However, the electric vehicle segment in India is still in early if not a nascent stage and the segment has a lot of challenges of its own. The most prominent challenge is the lack of basic charging infrastructure of the electric vehicles that the government so desperately wants plying on the roads of India. Therefore, before the rule and bans on fossil fuels come into force, the first order of things for the government will be setting up basic infrastructure for charging in the country, or at least assist the corporations in doing so.