In a significant move towards promoting a cleaner and greener environment, the Union Territory (UT) administration in Chandigarh has taken decisive steps to limit the registration of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, including both two-wheelers and four-wheelers. This decision, which is in line with Chandigarh’s Electric Vehicle (EV) policy, was introduced in September 2022 and aims to transform the city into a “Model EV City” over a five-year period. The Chandigarh administration has now announced that from October and December, it will halt the registrations of ICE two-wheelers and four-wheelers in the state, respectively.
The Chandigarh administration, in its recent announcement, stated that from the beginning of the first week of October, the registration of non-electric two-wheelers will come to a halt. Additionally, the administration also announced that the registration of non-electric four-wheelers will follow suit and will be stopped by December of this year. This move comes as a part of Chandigarh’s EV policy, which previously set specific targets for 2023 to curb the proliferation of vehicles running on fossil fuels.
Chandigarh’s unique EV policy
For those unaware, Chandigarh’s EV policy, applicable for five years, has a comprehensive goal of encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles and discouraging the registration of vehicles that contribute to pollution. The policy’s key element included a registration target, which meant that only a limited number of ICE vehicles were permitted to be registered in Chandigarh in 2023. The last announced policy specified that the target is to register no more than 12,076 two-wheelers and 15,465 four-wheelers for the entire year.
As of now, Chandigarh has already registered a substantial number of non-electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Initially, the registration of non-electric two-wheelers was temporarily halted after reaching a lower target. However, this cap was later increased due to increased pressure from the automobile dealers’ union of the state.
Criticisms and legal challenges of this EV policy
While the EV policy has noble environmental goals, it has faced criticism from various associations, including the Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association of India, representing automobile dealers in Chandigarh. Critics argued that such stringent limits on fuel-run vehicles are not seen elsewhere in the country and that these measures adversely affect businesses.
Back in February of this year, the association also lodged an official complaint against the Chandigarh administration. In response to the plea by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association of India, the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a notice against the Chandigarh administration, challenging the EV policy and the limits placed on the sale and registration of ICE vehicles. However, the court did not provide temporary relief to the petitioner during the hearing.
On the other hand, the Chandigarh administration, in defense of its EV policy, emphasized the global concern of climate change and the significant role played by the road transport sector in increasing global temperatures. They argued that the EV policy aligns with the central government’s push for cleaner energy sources in transportation and is aimed at building Chandigarh as a Model Electric Vehicle City.