India’s New EV Policy: Open Doors for Electric Vehicle Imports, Including from China

According to a senior government official from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), India has opened its doors to electric vehicle (EV) imports from any country, including China, under the new EV policy. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, DPIIT Secretary Rajesh K Singh highlighted the positive response received from global EV makers regarding the policy. Singh emphasized the importance of disbursing production-linked incentives (PLI) on a quarterly basis, advising all government departments accordingly.

Singh clarified that there are currently no restrictions on imports from China, citing the presence of BYD vehicles on Indian roads after payment of relevant import duties. However, he noted that restrictions exist on the investment front, particularly concerning foreign direct investment (FDI) from land border countries.

The recently announced policy aims to boost domestic manufacturing of EVs by incentivizing manufacturers committing to substantial investments and timely production. Companies investing a minimum of Rs 4,150 crore and commencing production within three years will benefit from reduced import taxes on specific EVs. Additionally, these manufacturers must ensure that at least 25 percent of components used are locally sourced.

In line with the policy, companies meeting these criteria will be allowed to import up to 8,000 EVs annually. Import duties for EVs priced at $35,000 (approximately Rs 29 lakh) or higher will be reduced to 15 percent. Currently, import tariffs on cars range from 70 percent to 100 percent based on their value.

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