A senior official of Honda cars states that lowering taxes on hybrid cars could push EV adoption in India. Hybrid vehicles are said to be best suited for Indian conditions, as external charging infrastructure is not a necessity. Currently, the total tax incidence is 43 percent on hybrid vehicles including GST. Meanwhile, battery electric vehicles have a 5 percent tax.
“There is a big gap (in taxes). So, yes it would be a welcome step if the government could support us (by reducing tax on hybrid vehicles as well) …We request the government if they could consider it,” Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Kunal Behl told. He further said: “We believe if they (government) can reduce it, the adoption of the electric vehicles would be very fast.”
Behl noted that hybrid vehicles could help in the transition to fully electric vehicles while at the same time helping in cutting down vehicular emissions and fossil fuel consumption. “We really respect the government’s understanding that they want to bring down the emission levels…they want to reduce the consumption of fuels, so both these objectives are met by the hybrid vehicles. So, I am sure there could possibly be a thought which goes in the government into relooking into favorable conditions where customers can adapt to such technologies faster,” he stated.
Honda believes that hybrids are the best solution for the country as buyers do not encounter range anxiety issues and there are no curbs on the performance of the vehicle as well, Behl noted. “According to us in the current scenario there is nothing better than this (hybrid).. it is the best solution right now,” he added.
The company, which has forayed into the mainstream hybrid segment with the introduction of City e: HEV, plans to ultimately transition to full battery electric vehicles as per the global vision of its Japan-based parent company. Honda globally plans to launch 30 EV models by 2030, with an annual production volume of more than 20 lakh units. The auto major aims to invest around USD 40 billion over the next 10 years in the EV space. “The global direction is towards electrification..we believe Indian customers really want to be part of the electric journey..it matches our journey towards carbon neutrality…If the taxes go down I am sure people will adopt it at a faster clip..,” Behl said. As part of the strategy, Honda Cars India plans to get into the fast-growing mid-size SUV segment next year.