The Delhi High Court has clarified that electric vehicles (EVs) in India are subject to relevant provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. This means imposing mandatory requirements like insurance coverage and wearing helmets on EVs. Or protective gear. Additionally, EVs will have to undergo registration and will be subject to penal provisions in the law, just like other vehicles.
The court's decision came in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Rajat Kapoor, seeking to make insurance coverage mandatory for all electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers before they are delivered to buyers and put on the road. Rejecting the PIL, the court said that the central government has already set standards for batteries used in electric vehicles.
The court also directed the Delhi government to ensure that the subsidy given for electric vehicles registered in the national capital is distributed on time. The bench emphasized that the PIL was largely baseless and advised the petitioner to exercise diligence and restraint before filing such cases in future.
The petition highlights the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road and the absence of insurance regulations for these vehicles, potentially leading to a chaotic situation. It cites Section 146 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, which mandates insurance coverage for all motor vehicles, including EVs.