Sunday, March 3, 2019

MoTown cheers package for e-vehicles


PUNE: Hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) manufacturers in Asia’s third biggest car market have welcomed the 10-fold rise in the assistance package announced by the Centre to promote 'greener mobility' in the country.

On February 28, the cabinet committee of economic affairs (CCEA) approved Rs 10,000 crore packages under the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) for three financial years.

FAME-I, which had started in 2015, had a total outlay of Rs 895 crore. Under this scheme, apart from providing direct subsidy to buyers of electric vehicles and charging stations, the government will be setting up seven technical know-how and testing centres across the country for certifying electric vehicles.

According to industry data, nearly 55,000 electric two-wheelers were sold during 2017-18, a growth of 138 per cent compared to 2016-17. FAME-I provides incentives ranging between Rs 7,500 to Rs 22,000 on battery-powered two-wheelers. However, sales of electric cars fell 40 per cent to 1,200 units during 2017-18 compared to 2016-17.

Only two electric cars (e-Verito and E20) are on sale at present and both are from utility vehicle specialist Mahindra & Mahindra. "The government package will provide a big fillip to our joint efforts to introduce higher levels of electric mobility in the country," Rajan Wadhera, president at Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers or SIAM, a top trade body, said in a statement.

For over two years, the industry has been waiting for the announcement of a long term policy including the FAME II Scheme to be finalized, he said. The industry is poised to make huge investments in manufacturing EVs in all categories of vehicles and developing an indigenous supply chain to ensure Make in India. Wadhera said the three-year scheme would instill tremendous confidence in the auto and component industry while taking long-term investment decisions.


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