Electric vehicle industry wary of FAME-2 rollout

Eco-friendly hybrid vehicles: Japan actively developing well accepted concept cars

New Delhi, July 12: The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) has raised its concern to NITI Aayog Chairman Amitabh Kant, about the confusion on the continuity of the government’s incentives and initiatives to promote electric vehicles under FAME 1 (Faster adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles).

Citing the recent news report, Corporate Director SMEV, Sohinder Gill says, “The recent news that Electric Vehicle mission has been moved from DHI to NITI Aayog came to us a surprise and has led to a confusion and uncertainty on the fate and the timing of FAME -2.

FAME -1 Scheme has created a significant optimism in the EV Industry. The investment and interest in the EVs has grown many folds, particularly on the assurance of DHI that NEMMP is a long term plan unlike MNRE scheme 2011 that was abruptly closed leading to a total collapse of the EV industry.

Leading players like Hero Electric, Mahindra and dozens of others have allocated major resources towards electric mobility on the back of the assurance that FAME -2 Scheme will seamlessly patch up with FAME -1. “The industry is desperately seeking an assurance from the government on the continuity in the EV mission and that the tapering or withdrawals of any such initiative will be forewarned at least a year in advance. So that the industry can adjust their business plans accordingly,” says Mr Gill.

“Another disturbing news is the initiative of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for Lithium Battery swapping stations for three wheelers across the country. The initiative does not seem to be offering any solution for the personal electric two-wheeler consumers,” Mr Gill adds.

Electric two wheelers are a priority segment and need to be promoted heavily as per Niti Aayog. However, 90% of the flat owners, who are prospective buyers of these vehicles, do not buy them because of the lack of charging stations or battery swapping stations. “Niti Aayog should immediately advise MNRE to provide battery swapping facility for electric two wheelers wherever it is being installed for three wheelers,” says Mr Gill.

FAME India Scheme was implemented from 1st April 2015, with the objective to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and manufacturing eco-system. The phase-I of the scheme has helped the sale of 45000 EVS till March 2017 and will expire in September 2017. Out of the total units sold, two-wheelers accounted for a sizeable chunk of 40000 units and the remaining 5,000 units as electric cars. (ANI)