Electric Scooters and Bicycle Rules and Regulations in India by the RTO

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Electric Scooters and Bicycle Rules and Regulations in India by the RTO

Knowing the RTO rules and regulations for Electric scooters and bikes has never been more important, as they are quickly becoming the preferred mode of transportation for many people. Conventional vehicles have different rules and regulations when it comes to electric bicycles and scooters. Because of this, it can be difficult to remember all of the rules and regulations at once.
Indian government guidelines on electric bicycles and scoots are user-friendly, but they also promote the use of electric vehicles over traditional vehicles. Before purchasing an electric two-wheeler, be sure to familiarise yourself with the RTO rules and regulations that apply to electric bikes and scooters listed below.

Every electric vehicle in India must have the approval of ARAI (the Automotive Research Association of India). In accordance with CMVR regulations, an e-bike does not have to undergo a full testing process. They are exempt from such requirements for approval. Extensive testing is required only for high-performance vehicles.
In order to qualify as an electric bicycle, a vehicle must have an electric motor with less than 250W of power and a top speed of 25kmph. As far as transportation rules go, electric bicycles are exempt from them.

RTO regulations for electric vehicles can be found here:

ARAI approval, age limit, requirement for e-scooter insurance, number plate and registration, as well as road tax, helmet and electric two-wheeler subsidy state-by-state are discussed in this article on RTO rules and regulations for electric scooters and bikes in India.

Electrified Bikes and Scooters Require a Driver’s License

You must have a driving licence in order to operate any type of motor vehicle, including electric vehicles. Driving an electric bike or scooter on public roads is against the law unless you have a valid licence. If you are in an accident or cause damage to property while driving without a valid licence, your insurance company will not compensate you.
Nearly 50,000 accidents involving drunk drivers occurred in India in 2019, according to the latest statistics available.
Electric bikes with a power output under 250 watts and a top speed of 25 kilometres per hour do not require a driver’s licence to operate. It is a popular choice among students, teenagers, and retirees because of this.
In India, the government has set a minimum age of 18 for anyone to ride a motorcycle or scooter. Although children between the ages of 16 and 18 can ride non-motorized and gearless bikes. Most of the e-bikes we see on the road are in this category, with a maximum speed of 25kmph and a power output of less than 250W.

Insurance of Electrified Scooters and Bicycles

Before purchasing an Electric Scooter or bike , make sure you have a current driver’s licence and adequate insurance coverage. There are a lot of young people who ride electric bikes without proper insurance, and they end up in trouble later. If not driven properly, electric vehicles with a top speed of 25 kph can cause accidents or damage, so it’s important to have insurance to cover any losses; otherwise, the driver is responsible for the costs.
For electric bicycles and scooters, comprehensive insurance policies are preferable to third-party policies. Any e-bike with a top speed of more than 25 kmph and a power output of more than 250kW must be covered by an insurance policy for two-wheelers.
Between $1,500 and $3,500 would be the cost of Third-party insurance for any e-bike or scooter. In contrast, the cost of a comprehensive policy ranges from $4,5k to $6,000, depending on the type of electric vehicle and the scope of coverage. The comprehensive insurance policy covers the cost of the vehicle’s loss in the event of theft. To be eligible for the insurance, the driver must have a current, valid driver’s licence.

Insuring an e-bike that has a top speed of less than 25kmph and a maximum power output of less than 250W isn’t necessary, but you can still do so if you want.

Electrified Vehicles’ Number Plate Requirements

All vehicles registered after April 1st, 2019, must have a High-Security Registration Plate (HSRP) as required by the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. Only government officers are authorized to provide this HSRP, which aids in the prevention of theft and the cleaning up of the vehicle registration database.

In order to distinguish between different types of vehicles, different colour codes are used.

  • Private ICE vehicles have a number plate with a white background and black letters.
  • Commercial ICE vehicles have a number plate with a yellow background and black letters.
  • Rental ICE vehicles have a number plate with a black background and yellow letters.
  • Private EV licence plates have a white number plate with a green background.
  • Commercial EVs have a number plate with a green background and yellow letters.

RTO registration and HSRPs are not required for electric bikes with less than 250W of power and a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hour (km/h).

Requirement for a Helmet When Riding an EV

If you’re riding an electric vehicle (EV) that has a top speed or power of more than 25 kmph, you must wear a helmet. Helmets are not required for electric bike riders whose bikes have a power output under 250W and a top speed of 25kmph. To ensure their own safety, it is strongly advised that every rider dons one.

Tax and registration of electric vehicles on the roads of India

The cost of building roads and highways is recouped by a road tax levied by the state government. The road tax is imposed by each state’s government.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) proposed in February 2020 that electric vehicles would not have to pay for registration or renewal in India in February of that year. EV owners across the country will benefit from this proposal, even though many states have already waived the registration fee for EVs. This move is expected to have a positive impact on the country’s use of electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle incentives are also being offered by the Department of Heavy Industry through the FAME programme. For Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrids and Electric Vehicles, FAME stands for FAME-II was given a new moniker in 2019. This plan’s initiative can be used all over the country.

For two-wheelers

  • Only up to 40% of the cost of a two-wheeled vehicle, which is 15000 kWh per kWh of battery capacity.
  • Ministry of Finance has also removed non-FAME-II programmes from the list of programmes that have been axed. These are the ones I’m referring to:
  • All-electric vehicles are taxed at a rate of 5% for goods and services.
  • Section 80EEB of the tax code grants first-time homebuyers a tax break of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh.

State-wise Electric two-wheeler subsidies

Several states’ governments have announced EV subsidies tailored to their individual states.

It’s possible that these rules will be in effect for up to four or five years after they’re announced. The amount of subsidy varies from state to state and is determined by the size of the lithium-ion battery packs.

Electric Two-Wheeler Subsidy by State

State Per KWh of battery capacity Max subsidy Road tax exemption
Delhi Rs 5000 Rs 30,000 100%
Maharashtra Rs 5000 Rs 25000 100%
Meghalaya Rs 10,000 Rs 20,000 100%
Gujrat Rs 10,000 Rs 20,000 50%
Assam Rs 10,000 Rs 20,000 100%
West Bengal Rs 10,000 Rs 20,000 100%
Rajasthan Rs 2500 Rs 10,000 NA
Odisha NA Rs 5000 100%
Uttar Pradesh No No 100%
Kerela No No 50%
Karnataka No No 100%
Tamil Nadu No No 100%
Telangana No No 100%
Madhya Pradesh No No 99%
Andhra Pradesh No No 100%

Subsidiary Scheme for Students Offered by the Gujarat Government

The chief minister of Gujarat has announced a programme to promote the use of electric vehicles in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 70th birthday.
Students will receive Rs 12k for e-scooters and Rs 48k for electric three-wheelers as part of this programme.

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