16 year olds to get e-scooter licence

The Union transport ministry will change motor vehicles rules in the next fortnight allowing those in the 16-18 age group to obtain a licence and drive electric scooters with a maximum speed of 70 kmph, a move aimed at ending the menace of illegal driving by underage teens.

The maximum motor power of these vehicles will be capped at four kilowatts (4 Kwh), which will cover most available brands in the market. Currently, adolescents in the specified age group are allowed to procure licence for driving vehicles that have an engine capacity up to 50 cc. But no such vehicle is available in the market.

Across cities, youth illegally driving gearless electric scooters is a common sight. So far, they have not been applying for licences since these vehicles are exempted, a source said. But now with the government bringing the electric vehicles with motor power of up to 4 Kwh under the purview of the law as a “light two-wheeled powered vehicle”, it will be mandatory for everyone to have a valid licence for driving them.

Sources said this move will also create a market for electric two-wheelers, which is one of the government’s thrust areas to push electric mobility. “Once there is a demand, we will see more domestic players manufacturing these vehicles,” said an official, who did not wish to be named.

Some models available in the market are manufactured by two-wheeler major Hero and some other brands like Ather and Yo have also marked their presence.

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