Tightening its hold on electric vehicles standards, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has recently issued an alert to state governments about a few electric scooter dealers who are selling high-speed electric scooters as the low-speed variety.
According to current rules, all EVs under 25kph doesn’t require type approvals and can be directly sold without certification.
However, an influx of higher battery capacity vehicles with speeds as high as 40-50kph being sold as low-speed two-wheelers across the country has resulted in the ministry red-flagging this development.
MoRTH said that these high-battery, low-speed vehicles contravene the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR Act), 1989, and that under specific provisions mandated by the CMVR Act, appropriate action must be taken against dealers found guilty.
The dealers are selling such vehicles without taking any type of approval, or factoring in vehicle identification norms and insurance, and are even tampering with the verification undertaken by the testing agencies.
The ministry observed that many dealers of such high-speed battery vehicles have mushroomed all over the country, and suggested the states take strict action against dealers flouting the norms.
Citing CMVR rules, MoRTH noted that besides complying with the speed cap of 25kph, the total weight of the vehicle minus the batteries (unladen weight) should not cross 60kg.
Such vehicles should be fitted with suitable brakes and reflectors both at the front and in the rear.
A report by SMEV in 2020 suggested that in the electric two-wheeler segment, a majority or 97 percent of sales came from electric scooters, with the rest comprising electric motorcycles and cycles.
Of these two-wheelers, low-speed scooters (max speed 25kph), and which do not need registration with the transport authorities, contributed 90 percent of overall electric two-wheelers sales.