Govt Keen to Power Up More Elec­tric Ve­hi­cles

Al­lo­ca­tion for govt’s FAME scheme up 42% to .₹ 175 cr, in­dus­try cheers

The Economic Times - - Budget: Day After - Ketan.Thakkar@ times­

Mum­bai: In­dia in­creased state sup­port to the pro­duc­tion of elec­tric and hy­brid cars by 42% in the Bud­get, un­der­scor­ing the gov­ern­ment’s in­tent to im­prove air qual­ity in a na­tion that is home to some of the world’s most pol­luted ur­ban cen­tres. While there was no spe­cific men­tion of cleaner cars by fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley in his Bud­get speech, ET learns from the an­nex­ures that a gov­ern­ment pro­gramme pro­mot­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cles got both a time ex­ten­sion and big­ger funds. The pro­gramme on Faster Adop­tion of Man­u­fac­tur­ing of Hy­brid and Elec­tric Ve­hi­cles, which goes by the acro­nym FAME, got ₹ 175 crore for FY18 ver­sus ₹ 123 crore in FY17. When the pol­icy was an­nounced in FY15, the gov­ern­ment had al­lo­cated ₹ 75 crore: The sup­port has been in­creas­ing to re­flect grow­ing in­dus­try in­ter­est.

Pawan Goenka, MD at util­ity ve­hi­cle maker Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra, told ET that such cars will likely have in­creas­ing ac­cep­tance, al­though cur­rent out­put re­mains low. “I am count­ing this year be­ing the year of elec­tric cars. Mr Goyal (In­dia’s power min­is­ter) has an­nounced that he would want the gov­ern­ment of In­dia to source 1 lakh elec­tric ve­hi­cles, and he has also an­nounced that by 2030 all ve­hi­cles will be elec­tric. ”

There are about half dozen ve­hi­cles that get sub­si­dies from the gov­ern­ment and there are a dozen more cars — elec­tric, hy­brid and mild-hy­brids — that are lined up by ve­hi­cle mak­ers to take ad­van­tage of the scheme. Toy­ota’s pre­mium sedan Camry and Prius get in­cen­tives from the gov­ern­ment, while M&M's elec­tric ve­hi­cle port­fo­lio in­cludes E2O and Ver­ito.

The coun­try’s big­gest car­maker, Maruti Suzuki, has been the largest ben­e­fi­ciary of the pro­gramme, with more than 1 lakh ve­hi­cles al­ready ply­ing on In­dian roads. M&M is work­ing on the world’s cheap­est elec­tric SUV.

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