Will the Govt’s big EV push have any takers in India?
Focus on EVs
The electric vehicle segment is getting a lot of attention from the government and Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant reiterated it by saying that it was a big opportunity for Indian manufacturers and they should look at not only producing such models for domestic market but also exports.
Power the two-wheelers
The Niti Aayog's proposal also added that two-wheelers below the capacity of 150cc sold in the country after March 31, 2025, should be electric ones only. It has also proposed that three-wheelers sold in the country should be electric ones only after March 31, 2023.
Note of dissent
Hero Eco managing director Naveen Munjal struck a dissonant note recently, when he said that while the government's proposal to electrify all two-wheelers below 150 cc in the next six years is aggressive, it is necessary if India is to emerge as a hub for manufacturing electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, the government has invited proposals from entities for the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure in big and smart cities. Proposals are invited from entities that intend to develop EV charging infrastructure in million-plus cities as per the 2011 census; and smart.
It advised that to the extent possible charging station should be connected with 'grid-connected solar power plant' of required capacity as per MNRE guidelines so as to ensure grid stability and green energy for electric vehicles. The last date for submission of the proposals is August 20.
It's all about FAME
The government recently approved Phase-II of the FAME India Scheme [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India], for three years commencing from April 1, 2019 with a total budgetary support of Rs 10,000 crore. The government intends to support development of EV charging infrastructure by extending capital grant to different organisations working with city government for the promotion of use of electric vehicles (EVs).
TERI chief Ajay Mathur said that even though EVEs could be a better alternative to fuel-based automobiles to mitigate air pollution, the government's target to switch to e-vehicles in next 10 years is hard to achieve. He pointed out that consumers would need time to accept the change. He insisted that the shift towards e-vehicles should be initiated through introduction of electric buses and taxis.