Government plans six-fold increase in funds allocation under FAME II to Rs 5,500 crore

by Amit Panday 16 Jan 2019

SIAT 2019, organised by ARAI, was today inaugurated by Dr A. R. Sihag, Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises at Oxford Gold Resort at Bavdhan, Pune. ARAI’s Ujjwala Karle seen providing  information about the hybrid electric retrofitment solution for manual transmission vehicles developed by ARAI. L-R: Ujjwala Karle; Dr A R Sihag, Secretary Ministry of Heavy Industries; Neeti Sarkar, CEO, NATRiP; Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director, ARAI and A A Badusha, Convener, SIAT 2019.

The government of India is planning a six-fold increase in the allocation of funds for the second phase of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles) India scheme. This will include an investment of about Rs 5,500 crore over five years which will provide subsidies for all types of electric vehicles (EVs) including two-, three- and four-wheelers to promote environment-friendly vehicles and check pollution. 

Under FAME I, the government had sanctioned a corpus of Rs 795 crore, which was later augmented to Rs 895 crore. The aim was to create demand incentives, create infrastructure, within which EV homologation facilities are set up at ARAI and other centres, supporting many R&D projects and launch of new pilot projects. These pilot projected included the launch of 450 EVs across 9 cities under the public transportation system.

Speaking on the opening day of SIAT 2109 in Pune, Dr Asha Ram Sihag, Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries, said the focus of the FAME policy under its second stage (for a five-year period from April 2019) is to support public transportation,  shared mobility and electric mobility including for small vehicles such as two-wheelers. “The government is looking to earmark Rs 5,500 crore which is under discussion with the Ministry of Finance currently. We expect that FAME II will kick-start after FAME 1 is phased out by the end of March 2019.”

ARAI Pune conducts post-crash analyses for EVs and HEVs. Tests are conducted by experts clad in safety suits that can take up to 1000 VDC and 600 AC.

Dr Sihag said that the government has invested in setting up homologation facilities for EVs at ARAI, Pune; GARC, Chennai and ICAT, Manesar as also a new battery testing facility at NATRAX in Indore. All of these facilities are to be functional in CY2019. “The automotive industry in India should not face a shortage of advanced testing facilities once all the above-mentioned EV homologation units are functional in CY2019,” he remarked.

300 new EV charging stations sanctioned
Dr Sihag added that the government has also been running pilot projects in the form of 225 EV charging stations in select cities across India. He revealed that the government has just sanctioned another 300 charging stations, which are expected to come up across cities and select highways. Citing examples of the chosen highways, Dr Sihag said Delhi-Agra-Jaipur and Mumbai-Pune are the two which will get EV charging stations with a capital investment of Rs 35 crore. 

The initiative, a part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) - Phase 1,  will be completed by the end of calendar 2019. Dr Sihag was speaking in the inaugural session of the 16th Symposium on International Automotive Technology (SIAT 2019) hosted by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) at Oxford Gold Resort at Bavdhan, Pune.

Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director of ARAI; Vikram Kirloskar, president, ARAI, CV Raman, vice-president ARAI; Bala Bharadwaj, president, Society of Indian Automotive Engineers (SAE) India; Dr David Schutt, CEO, SAE International; Neeti Sarkar, CEO, NATRiP and A A Badusha, convener of the symposium, were present on the occasion.

Dr Sihag said that the number of charging stations in the two road networks has not been finalised as yet. The implanting agency for the Mumbai-Pune section of the project – Rajasthan  Electronics and Instruments Ltd – will engage with road users to decide the deployment of charging stations on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The installation of charging stations on the Mumbai-Pune road corridor is to be completed by the end of 2019.  

He also stressed upon the Automotive Mission Plan 2026 which primarily has set three major goals for the Indian auto industry. 
- India should be the world’s third largest global auto market by 2026.
- India Auto Inc’s contribution  to GDP (currently at 8%), to increase to 12%.
- To generate additional employment – direct and indirect – of 65 million.

Dr Sihag remarked that institutions such as ARAI should engage with the private sector for R&D projects in new areas. The government is willing to fund these projects, he added.

Bridging the technology gap
Vikram Kirloskar, president, ARAI said the government can help the industry to bridge the gap between technology development and regulatory framework and create an enabling eco-system. The forthcoming changes such as the move to BS VI emission norms or crash sustaining standards has created many opportunities for new product development for the industry.  

SAE India president Bala Bharadwaj said there should be an effort to expand the outlook towards the automotive industry because future vehicles will combine features of many equipment of mobility.
There are many parallels between the working of automobiles and airplanes and serious efforts to make flying automobiles are on, said Bharadwaj, who is the managing director of aerospace giant Boeing's India Engineering & Technology Center. Dr Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director, ARAI made an overview of the three-day conference, CV Raman, vice-president, ARAI, proposed the vote of thanks.

Autocar Professional's online news has a special section on SIAT 2019, with a number of reports. 


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