General Studies Paper 3 (Science & Technology)
Question:- 30. What are the various types of electric vehicles? Highlight the steps taken by the government to promote electric vehicles in India. Answer in 250 words.
Aug 03, 2022


An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors for propulsion. It can be powered by a collector system, with electricity from extravehicular sources, or it can be powered autonomously by a battery (sometimes charged by solar panels, or by converting fuel to electricity using fuel cells or a generator).


LINKAGE POINT: The following are the types of most prevalent EVs:



  1. Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV): Fully powered by electricity. These are more efficient compared to hybrid and plug-in hybrids.
  2. Hybrid Electric Vehicle:
  3. i) Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): The vehicle uses both the internal combustion (usually petrol) engine and the battery-powered motor powertrain. The petrol engine is used both to drive and charge when the battery is empty. These vehicles are not as efficient as fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
  4. ii) Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV): Uses both an internal combustion engine and a battery charged from an external socket (they have a plug). This means the vehicle’s battery can be charged with electricity rather than the engine. PHEVs are more efficient than HEVs but less efficient than BEVs.
  5. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV): Electric energy is produced from chemical energy. For example, a hydrogen FCEV.



Indian government has been putting many efforts to ease the shift from fuel (petrol, diesel) vehicles to electric vehicles. Initiatives with regards to manufacturing, production and adoption have been taken especially in the last 10 years. They are discussed as follows:


  1. 1. FAME (Faster Adoption of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles): This scheme was launched by government to promote the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. Manufacturers and infrastructure providers of electric vehicles receive this incentive in the form of subsidies. The scheme has been extended till 2024.
  2. 2.The Government of India has also launched several Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes for manufacturers in the automobile, automotive components and Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) battery sector to develop indigenous supply chains for critical EV components.
  3. 3.Consumer-Centric Incentives: Tax exemptions (states to waive road tax on EVs), subsidies and interest subvention schemes, intended to trigger a mass demand for EV mobility options- to boost sales.
  4. 4.Battery Manufacturing in Giga factories: Recently, the government announced the receipt of bids from 10 companies to avail PLI Scheme to manufacture Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) batteries locally. These next-generation batteries will be made in ‘giga factories’, which signifies end-to-end battery manufacturing and large-scale production.
  5. 5.Guidelines for Charging Infra: The government has also revised its guidelines for charging infrastructure, which includes a revenue-sharing model for use of public land. It capped off these announcements with a promise to implement a battery swapping policy, interoperability standards, and special mobility zones via the Union Budget. Also, charging infrastructure standards permitting private charging at residences and offices have been put in place.
  6. 6.GST on electric vehicles has been reduced from 12% to 5%; GST on chargers/ charging stations for electric vehicles has been reduced from 18% to 5%.
  7. 7.Battery-operated vehicles will be given green license plates and be exempted from permit requirements.



Mobility is the next frontier in India’s fight against climate change, and electric vehicles (EVs) can help achieve not just that but also help reduce the country’s oil imports and preserve foreign exchange, taking India to the next level of self-reliance.