The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) has said that if electric mobility is to take root in India, we need a stable and long-term government policy. Keeping the upcoming Union Budget 2019-2020 in mind, the apex EV body has made some recommendations.
According to Sohinder Gill, director general, SMEV, “Electric mobility needs stable and long-term policy support, a concentrated dose of customer incentives and a massive awareness campaign to reach a target of 30 percent EVs by 2030.”
“SMEV expects the Budget to allocate at least Rs 20,000 crore to be spent in the next two years and target at least 1 million (10 lakh) EVs in India’s top 10 most polluted cities,” the director general went on to say. “FAME II must be announced with a 6-year plan and time-bound implementation. SMEV recommends a notional green cess on all IC-engined vehicles to create this corpus rather than dipping into exchequer.”
Gill added, “The Indian supply chain for critical powertrain components will come up only if there are enough vehicles on the road. Until thsen, the current import duty concessions should continue so that the vehicles do not end up becoming costlier.”
“Making EVs and infrastructure an integral part of the Smart City project will help a lot. The government should give more thrust on e-mobility under the smart city project which is missing, currently, he said. “Encouraging the PPP model in EV sharing services is a must. The government should set up a framework to encourage PPP model in services like bike and car sharing through which the required infrastructure support can be created.”
In FY2018, according to official data released by SMEV, while consumer demand for electric two-wheelers grew sustainably, sales of electric four-wheelers were down year-on-year by 40 percent. In FY2018, India sold a total of 24,972,788 vehicles across segments, barely 27,212 units shy of the 25-million units mark. They included 3.3 million passenger vehicles and 20.2 million two-wheelers, all running on fossil fuel. Total EV sales in FY2018 were barely 56,000 units. For India, which is tipped to become the world’s thirdlargest automobile market, the year-on-year growth of 124 percent, on a very low base in FY2017, from EVs (electric two- and four-wheelers) is shocking and points to the difficult road ahead for manufacturers and the country.