NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 18: Delhi Transport Commissioner Varsha Joshi (L), Minister of Transport ... [+] Kailash Gahlot (2L), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (C), IIT Madras professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala (2R) and Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi Vice-Chairperson Jasmine Shah (R) pose for a picture during the Stakeholder Consultation on Draft Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy 2018, organised by Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi in partnership with Rocky Mountain Institute, at NDMC Convention Centre, on December 18, 2018 in New Delhi, India. Concerned about the increasing level of air pollution, the Delhi Government on November 27 had released the draft "Electric Vehicle Policy 2018". Through the policy, the AAP government has planned to create a significant corpus of funds to incentivise every vehicle segment. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
For the past few years, India's capital, New Delhi, has been reported as one of the world's most polluted cities, with air pollution levels reaching nearly 40 times the World Health Organisation's limit. According to a study by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, vehicular pollution coupled with road dust resuspension is the key driver behind the high pollution levels and is the major contributing source of PM10 and PM2.5 particles in winter. As part of their report to the Government of Delhi, the IIT Kanpur study recommended scaling up electric and hybrid vehicles to improve air quality and reduce pollution levels in the national capital region (NCR). In August 2020, the Government of Delhi incorporated the IIT Kanpur study recommendations along with key findings from The Energy and Research Institute (TERI) to introduce an electric vehicle (EV) policy that aims to reduce pollution levels, boost Delhi's economy, and generate skilled employment. In Delhi's EV policy, the government has set a target of registering 500,000 new EVs by 2024 through various financial incentives for EV purchase on top of the central government's existing income tax rebates.
Government of Delhi
Within Delhi's EV policy, the government has also put key financial incentives in place that will allow businesses operating freight transportation — a key pollutant source — to purchase EVs and reduce their carbon footprint. A recent report by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) mentioned that Delhi's population and economic growth have given rise to goods and services, which has caused an increased demand for final-mile delivery transportation providers. Based on another study from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, these urban freight transportation providers (using both light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles) account for 45% of the vehicular NOx pollution in Delhi and are the leading cause of respiratory ailments. As a result of these structural efforts, Delhi aims to become India's "EV Capital" and deliver sustainable economic growth. In an interview, Jasmine Shah, vice-chairperson of the Dialogue and Development Commission who led the development of the EV policy, provided insights into the government's electric vehicle strategy, the progress made since the rollout in August 2020 and the policy’s main objectives in improving quality of life for residents in Delhi.
EV policy developed through expert consultation to address core challenges