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The Government of India is planning to go all-electric by 2030 and aims to sell 40 percent of private vehicles running on electricity.
Now, the Japanese automaker Toyota has stated that the Government of India should consider hybrids as electric vehicles.
Director of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, N Raja has stated the hybrid vehicles already meet the BS-VI emission norms even before its implementation and the hybrids are less polluting than electric vehicles. That's because around 80 percent of electricity in India comes from coal.
Raja said, "We are approaching the government and trying to explain as hybrids are also a part of electrified cars. These are not battery electric cars, but internal combustion electric cars. We understand that by 2040s all the cars will be electric, but till then hybrids will help in the transition to electric vehicles."
Previously, Mercedes-Benz India chief, Roland Folger had also said that electric vehicles would produce more pollution than the BS-VI petrol or diesel vehicles. This is an issue faced throughout the world and the battle between EVs and internal combustion vehicles.
With the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST), the prices of hybrid vehicles have gone up, and this has resulted in poor sales of hybrid vehicles. When asked about Toyota's plans on electric vehicles, Raja said that the global team is working on it.
Currently, the hybrid vehicles are levied a hefty 53 percent tax which is way higher as compared to the conventional vehicles. Recently a Toyota official had also stated that hybrid vehicles would be stepping stone to shift to all-electric vehicles. With the high tax rates, automakers are reluctant to launch hybrid vehicles in India.
Currently, Toyota retails the Camry and Prius hybrid vehicles in the country. In 2017, the company has managed to sell just 700 units of Camry Hybrid owing to the high tax levied post-GST. It will be interesting to see how the government will respond to Toyota's statement.
The Indian government has an ambitious plan of shifting to all-electric vehicles by 2030 and is pushing the use of EVs in the country. But the current tax structure is dead opposite to that which is a surprising fact. But now, Toyota has finally raised the word and urged the government to consider hybrids as electric vehicles.