A Volvo XC90 automobile, produced by Volvo Cars, sits on display at the Paris Motor Show. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

Volvo Cars Seeks Incentives To Push Hybrid Vehicles In India

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Swedish automaker Volvo Cars wants incentives for hybrid vehicles in India as it looks to expand its cleaner transport solutions in the country.

“In order for us to do better business in India, incentive for electrified vehicles would be great,” Paul Welander, senior vice president at Volvo Cars Group told PTI in an interview. Sops for such eco-friendly vehicles can help the company drive in more such products into the country where government is already pushing for environmental-friendly vehicles, he added.

Also Read: India’s Policy Makers Can’t Agree On An Electric Vehicle Road Map

The automaker, which sells plug-in hybrid model XC 90 in India, is also seeking lower import duties in the country. Citing examples of China and the U.S., Welander said such duties are much lower in other parts of the globe and India should also be "competitive".

Volvo Cars is also considering engine assembly line at its Bengaluru plant to reduce import duties, Welander said.

In 2018-19 Budget, the government increased customs duty on CKD (completely knocked down) imports of motor vehicles, motor cars, motor cycles from 10 percent to 15 percent. Further, duty on CBU (completely built units) imports of motor vehicles (trucks and buses) was hiked from 20 percent to 25 percent.

Also Read: India Says No Electric Vehicle Policy Needed, Will Frame Action Plan

Volvo Cars India Managing Director Charles Frump said the company favours taxation on vehicles based on carbon dioxide emissions.

One of the things which we have seen in the draft auto policy is tying taxation directly to carbon dioxide emissions. So no lengths, no technologies, it is just outcome based that I think is the step in the right direction.
Charles Frump, Managing Director, Volvo Cars India

The current taxation system in the country does not provide for any benefit for hybrids and plug-in hybrids, he added.

Under the current system, passenger vehicles attract top GST rate of 28 percent with cess ranging from 1 percent on those less than four metres in length with petrol engine to 22 percent on big sports utility vehicles which are longer than four metres.

Hybrid vehicles have an overall tax incidence of 43 percent (28 percent peak GST rate plus 15 percent cess).

"Going forward for us the clear path is electric but we are looking to get some understanding of the path for the future. So in our mind it is clear to take hybrid route to full electric vehicles," Frump said.

Globally, Volvo Cars has announced that every vehicle it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor and is aiming to have one million electrified cars on roads by 2025.

The Indian government had last year said it plans to have 100 percent electric vehicles in public transport and 40 percent in personal mobility by 2030. However, earlier this year it changed its stance and decided against formulating an electric vehicle policy saying technology should not be trapped by rules and regulations.

Also Read: India Says Never Targeted 100% Electric Mobility By 2030, Scales Down Aim

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