With growing awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles, especially how it helps in reducing pollution and the impact of climate change, more and more people have started to opt for them. Due to their affordability, people are buying electric scooters and bikes. While it is a good initiative if you are planning on switching to an electric alternative, however, owning an electric vehicle does not imply there are different rules and regulations. Before you make the switch, you must know the RTO rules for an electric bike in India.
Rules and Regulations for Electric Bikes and Scooters
Here are the RTO rules for an electric bike in India that you should be aware of if you plan on purchasing an e-bike or scooter:
License for E-bikes and Scooters
A driver’s license is a must for each type of motorised vehicle. That does not make electric vehicles an exception. It is mandatory under the Motor Vehicles Act that you own a valid license to be eligible to ride your bike/scooter. If you are found riding the vehicle without a license, you could get fined by the authorities. Having no license or owning an invalid license might make you ineligible to claim compensation from your electric bike insurance
provider*. However, if you own an electric bike/scooter which has a power output of less than 250W and a maximum speed of 25kmph, it is considered an electric bicycle and hence, no license is required. *
Registration of the Vehicle
After you have purchased your bike/scooter, you are required to register it with the regional transport office (RTO). While number plates with a white background and black coloured text are for petrol and diesel vehicles, EVs have number plates with a green background and white coloured text. If you do not register your vehicle with the authorities, it becomes ineligible to be driven on the roads legally. Additionally, you might face hefty fines and risk having your vehicle impounded as well. However, if the vehicle is considered an electric bicycle, registration is not necessary. *
Insurance for Your EV
As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, you must have bike insurance for your two-wheeler. You can either go for third-party electric bike insurance or comprehensive bike insurance. One of the deciding factors of the insurance premium is the battery capacity of the vehicle. If the battery capacity is low, the premium would be lesser, and if the capacity is high, so would it's premium. Third-party insurance provides coverage for only third-party liabilities, which makes it affordable. Comprehensive insurance is priced higher due to its broad coverage and additional features provided in the policy. When purchasing the policy, make sure you check the coverage provided in the policy. *
Tax on the Vehicle
When you register your bike with the authorities, you are required to pay a road tax for it. Each state has its road tax limit on vehicles. However, the Road Transport ministry announced that electric vehicles are not required to pay road tax during registration. Under the FAME scheme launched by the Indian government, electric vehicles are provided with various subsidies and incentives to grow awareness about them. Based on the capacity of the bike/scooter, a minimum and maximum subsidy is provided on the price of the bike. In addition to this, road tax exemption is given. For example, in the state of West Bengal, a minimum subsidy of Rs.10,000 and a maximum subsidy of Rs.20,000 is provided on e-bikes and scooters. Along with this, a 100% road tax exemption is given in the state. *
Helmet While Riding the Vehicle
Due to the increase in the number of road accidents involving two-wheelers, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has it mandatory for two-wheeler riders to always wear helmets when on the road. This rule applies to electric bikes and scooters as well. Even if you own an EV which is considered an electric bicycle, it is recommended that you wear a helmet, nonetheless. *
By understanding and following these rules, you can ensure that you experience a safe and smooth riding experience on your new electric bike/scooter. After you purchase your bike, make sure you purchase electric vehicle insurance
too. Before you buy a policy, you can use the bike insurance calculator to get a quote for the policy you are looking for as per your requirements.
*Standard T&C apply
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.