Karnataka wants to become the electric vehicle capital of India

Karnataka is looking to attract investments to the tune of Rs 31,000 crore from companies looking at research and development (R&D), and manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) in the state, at a time when the Centre is using a heavy hand to force automakers to switch to green technology.

Karnataka is the first state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy that looks not only at boosting sales of EVs, but also setting up charging infrastructure and special manufacturing zones. The state estimates that it will be able to create employment for 55,000 individuals over the next few years through the EV industry. One of the top mandates for Karnataka’s policy is to set up EV manufacturing zones along with facilities for testing that can be used even by start-ups.

Karnataka already has a fledgling ecosystem for supporting electric mobility, thanks to some of the early movers such as Chetan Maini, the founder of Reva. Apart from India’s only electric car manufacturer Mahindra Electric, the state is also home to one of the most promising electric mobility start-ups Ather Energy. Karnataka’s policy also asks for the creation of a special purpose vehicle that will involve civic agencies, state transport and energy companies, and its renewable energy and industrial boards for the creation of charging infrastructure within the state. The state will also mandate installation of charging units in all highrise buildings, malls, information technology (IT) parks, and apartment complexes.

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