The electric two-wheeler industry has been able to somewhat weather the Covid pandemic by sales of high speed electric two-wheelers in the January to December 2020 period clocking 25,735 (-5.4% YoY) as against 27,224 units sold in the previous calendar year according to data compiled by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).
The apex body says the sales are nowhere near to the ambitious target of selling a million electric vehicles under FAME 2 scheme. The scheme launched in April 2019 envisioned a plan to put at least 1 million high-speed electric two-wheelers on the road by March 2022. The actual cumulative sale since January 2019 has been 52,959 or 5.29 percent, however sale under the scheme has remained only 31,813 units or 3.18 percent of the target.
Commenting on the Industry sales figures, Sohinder Singh Gill, director general, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles said, “The FAME 2 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% 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 2 made the bikes unaffordable to the mass market customer despite the subsidy. Despite the setback, the e2W industry is seeing a positive sentiment and a very high level of interest from the customers and if FAME 2 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. Hence, we urge the government to come up with corrective measures that would help the industry to achieve the envisaged target of 10 lakh electric two-wheeler.”
He acknowledged that lately the industry has seen many positive steps by the central and state government such as the announcement to support battery manufacturing in the country with an outlay of Rs 18,000 crore and allowing the selling of e2W without battery, entry of established players in the market, increase in citizens’ interest in green vehicles, start-ups foraying into the industry with innovative solutions like financing, last-mile delivery and charging among others.
“Lastly, the government continued support to the aligned industry, perhaps the only vital missing link is a robust, customer-friendly FAME 2 policy,” concluded Gill.
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