Govt Keen to Power Up More Electric Vehicles
Allocation for govt’s FAME scheme up 42% to .₹ 175 cr, industry cheers
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.