Indian roads to see more of high-end electric vehicles

Indian roads to see more of high-end electric vehicles

With the government planning to liberalise import norms by removing restrictions on price and engine capacities, as well as the mandatory local testing conditions, we will get to see more of electric vehicles, luxury cars, vans and superbikes on Indian roads.

The liberalisation may encourage new product launches by carmakers such as Mercedes, BMW, Nissan, and Toyota and premium two-wheeler companies like Triumph and Kawasaki. The government will henceforth allow the import of vehicles, which are certified by internationally-accepted test agencies such as those in Europe, Singapore and some other countries.

Current norms fixed by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) allow homologation-free (without mandatory local testing) import of four-wheelers valued above $40,000 (Rs 27 lakh at the exchange rate of Rs 67 to a dollar) and two-wheelers of 800-cc and beyond. These would now be done away with, although import and other duties will still need to be paid at the current rates. In certain segments, import duties add up to over 100%.

The road transport ministry has issued a draft notification on easing the norm, which it claimed will increase the options for consumers to buy globally-popular models. This, officials said, will also pave the way for registration of imported vehicles across states, which has been a problem in certain states.

To ensure that imported vehicles meet certain Indian conditions, the draft notification says that these will have to have “right hand steering control” while complying with international standards set in Europe and Singapore.

Similarly, the norms will be eased for import of vehicles for personal use, demonstration, testing, research or scientific work.

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