Millennium Post

Govt to fine-tune plan in bid to promote electric vehicles

The government's top brass, led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, will brainstorm on Thursday on how best it can push large-scale adoption of electric vehicles in the country, ahead of the rollout of FAME India.

At the meeting schedule on February 23, Power, Coal, Mines and New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal will make a presentation explaining the various aspects related to increased use of electric vehicles like rise in power consumption, impact on the environment and how economies of scale can make it viable for India, sources said.

According to experts, several factors including higher cost of vehicles, power outages, lack of charging infrastructure and dearth of facilities for eco-friendly disposal of batteries to curb pollution are among the factors inhibiting consumers from buying electric vehicles in India.

To promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government has been offering incentives on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars under the FAME India scheme launched last year. The scheme has since been in a pilot phase, and a nation-wide rollout is scheduled from April 1.

Apart from Goyal, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya and representatives from Ministries like Railways, Defence, Heavy Industries and Road Transport & Highways will also be present in the meeting to provide inputs on ways to increase the adoption of electric vehicles,
sources said.

At present, the Department of Heavy Industries is the nodal agency for implementing the FAME India scheme. However, other wings of the government, especially the one headed by Goyal, would also play a key role in facilitating promotion of clean energy.

FAME India - Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India - is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. In Budget 2017-18, Rs 175 crore has been earmarked for the FAME India scheme as against the revised and budget estimates of Rs 122.90 crore for the current financial year.

However, experts believe that the provision of funds is insufficient to incentivise the use of electric vehicles.
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