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This Indian City Has Completely Stopped Registrations Of New Petrol Two-wheelers

Is this the right way of increasing adoption of electric mobility?

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In a major announcement, the Chandigarh administration has ceased the registrations of non-electric two-wheelers starting February 10, for the 2023 financial year. This order has been passed to promote adoption of greener mobility.

In its Electric Vehicle Policy 2022, passed in September, the administration had offered waivers on road tax for electric and hybrid vehicles, while a cap was announced on the number of registrations of ICE-powered vehicles. It is due to this that registrations of ICE-powered two-wheelers have ceased for this financial year, as the cap has been met.

The registrations of ICE two-wheelers will resume from April 1, as per the permissible limits for the financial year 2023-2024. Until then, Chandigarh residents looking to bring home a two-wheeler will either have to look for an electric option, register their new ICE two-wheeler elsewhere, or wait until April 1.

This is the first time a government or administration has taken such drastic measures towards driving increased adoption of electric two-wheelers. However, what is to be seen is whether Chandigarh has the necessary infrastructure in place to support electric vehicles. The infrastructure we’re talking about is primarily about the charging ecosystem.

With Ather and Ola being two giants offering a network of fast chargers across the country, and with the Chandigarh administration being aggressive in its goal to increase electric mobility, you’d think that there'd be quite a few fast-charging options available for the brands’ customers, right? Well, not quite, as Ola has zero fast-charging stations, while Ather only has one in Chandigarh, as per their respective websites.

As if this wasn’t enough, as of December 2022, the Chandigarh administration has failed to make operational even a single public charging station in the city. In a question put forth to the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways in the Rajya Sabha in December, it was made known that there were only six privately owned charging stations operating in Chandigarh, for 4,161 electric vehicles. This results in owners having to make use of charging stations, where prices are quite expensive.

Considering that the required infrastructure to help accelerate the shift to electric mobility is still not in place in Chandigarh, we’d have appreciated it if the administration had diversified its focus and channelised its efforts into driving green mobility in a more productive manner, as the current legislation looks to be more of an inconvenience to citizens.

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