BRTA initiates move to finalise electric vehicle guidelines

Shahin Akhter | Published: 23:59, Jan 16,2021


The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority has initiated a move to finalise the guidelines on electric vehicle registration and operation, two years after the guidelines were drafted.

The draft Electric Vehicle Registration and Operation Guidelines-2018 was submitted to the Road Transport and Highways Division in November 2018.

The BRTA has convened a meeting today at its head office on the draft guidelines as electric vehicles are yet to be formally introduced in the country due to the absence of a registration process.

BRTA chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder told New Age on Thursday that the road transport and highways division in the past week directed them to update the draft guidelines for finalisation as the process had remained stagnant for the last two years.

The initiative for preparing the guidelines was first taken on April 30, 2018 when the division sent a letter to the BRTA asking it for guidelines or a policy to allow registration of electric vehicles for facilitating people.

Nur Mohammad said that the Motor Vehicles Regulations, 1984 had been amended in February 2020 by including the definition of electric vehicle and the definition was also included in the Road Transport Act, 2018.

As per the definition, electric vehicle or EV means a vehicle powered exclusively by one or more electric motor whose traction energy is supplied by rechargeable battery installed in the vehicle.

The definition does not cover battery-operated bicycles or rickshaws.

According to the draft electric vehicle guidelines, the registration, fitness checking and route permit processes of electric vehicles will be as same as the engine-run motor vehicles.

The draft says that electric vehicles will also have chassis numbers while batteries of the vehicles can be charged at the approved charging stations or under personal management using renewable energy.

The used batteries have to be dumped following specific procedure for avoiding environmental pollution, it also said.

In a separate initiative, Nur Mohammad said that they had sent a letter to the National Board of Revenue through the road transport and bridges ministry to set advanced income tax on electric vehicles for import and operation of the vehicles.

About battery-run vehicles like easy bikes and nasimons, he said that the vehicles would only be recognised as electric vehicles when they would come under the definition of electric vehicle.

The battery-run vehicles do not come under the definition of electric vehicle as they are not technically sound.

‘Battery-run vehicles can come under the guidelines after some customisation and remodelling,’ he said.

Around 12 lakh to 20 lakh unregistered easy bikes, nasimon, karimon, bhatbhati and other battery-run vehicles are currently running in Bangladesh, said BTRA officials.

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