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Target of selling 10 lakh electric 2-wheelers under FAME-II 'nowhere in sight': SMEV

FAME-II set target to put ten lakh two-wheeler EVs on road by March 2022

ev-vehicle-charging-arvind-jain An electric vehicle charging station in New Delhi | Arvind Jain

With just 25,735 units of high speed electric two-wheelers sold in 2020, the ambitious target of generating a sale of 10 lakh such vehicles by March 2022 under FAME-II is nowhere in sight, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) said on Wednesday.

According to the SMEV, the sales of high-speed electric two-wheelers, which qualify for incentives under the government's Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) II scheme, in 2020 were down 5 per cent from 27,224 units sold in 2019.

"While the E2W industry has been able to weather the COVID-19 pandemic by sales of high-speed electric two-wheelers in the January to December 2020 period clocking 25,735 as against 27,224 units sold in the previous calendar year, the ambitious target of generating a sale of 1 million under FAME-II is nowhere in sight," the SMEV said in a statement.

The SMEV said when the FAME-II scheme was launched in April 2019 the plan was to put at least 10 lakh high-speed electric two-wheelers on the road by March 2022. 

Stating that FAME-II has failed to pep up sale of electric two-wheelers, it said, "The actual cumulative sale since January 2019 has been 52,959, however, sale under the scheme has remained only 31,813 units."

Commenting on the situation, SMEV Director General Sohinder Gill said, "The FAME-II scheme had some good points and laudable objectives but came with so many strings attached, most of them introduced prematurely or unnecessarily, that lead to the achievement of only 4 per cent of the stated targets."

The scheme could not attract the customers to shift from the polluting petrol bikes to electric two-wheelers, mainly because the preconditions and qualification criteria of FAME-II made the bikes unaffordable to the mass market customer despite the subsidy, he added.

Gill, however, said, "Despite the setback, the E2W industry is seeing a positive sentiment and a very high level of interest from the customers and if FAME-II is rejigged to remove the needless handicaps, the adoption can grow exponentially in a short time, that could not only help achieve the stated objective, it can also catalyse major investments into "Made in India" products and locally sourced components."

He urged the government to come up with corrective measures that would help the industry to achieve the envisaged target of 10 lakh electric two-wheelers.

Stating that although the government has taken several steps such as plans to support battery manufacturing in India with an outlay of Rs 18,000 crore and allowing the selling of E2W without battery, Gill said, "...perhaps the only vital missing link is a robust, customer-friendly FAME-II policy." 

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