SMEV petitions Niti Aayog to review FAME Policy

The triple whammy of blocking subsidy, claw back notices, and embargo on future sales are sabotaging the FAME II policy, says Association, adding that mass market E scooters are losing out to premium E bikes.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 15 Jun 2023 Views icon2742 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
SMEV petitions Niti Aayog to review FAME Policy

The registered association representing Indian manufacturers of electric vehicles SMEV (Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles) today petitioned the Niti Aayog, asking them to review the FAME II subsidy scheme.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries’ actions over the past 18 months i.e., withholding subsidies, demanding retrospective claw backs of subsidy given in 2019, delisting companies from the NAB portal and now its latest move to slash subsidies, is likely to impact sales and substantially delay the process of EV adoption and penetration in the country, it states.

SMEV points out that the situation has created a state of disequilibrium in the market given that there is no more a level playing field in the automotive sector. The direct and indirect impact of blocking subsidies to OEMs who had paid these out diligently to customers is plain to see: The OEMs are struggling to stay afloat; investors are wary; banks are withdrawing; employees are fleeing; debts are rising, and closures are the next imminent step.

Sohinder Singh Gill, DG – SMEV said, “The triple whammy of subsidy blockade, claw back notices and embargo on future sales are sabotaging the FAME 2 policy. It is evident that the E-Mobility ambitions of the country have been impacted as the scheme could not make up even 50% of its mandated target over 5 years, since 2019. The deterioration of FAME II and the deviation from the Niti Aayog's vision raise questions about the intended mass movement that was envisioned for E-Mobility.”

He further adds, “A specific deleterious impact of squeezing out mass market leaders has been that the low end commuter scooters are losing out to the premium segment. In a contrarian effect, not seen elsewhere, the FAME scheme has spawned a spurt in the premium EV bikes at the cost of commuter scooters.”

It is disheartening to witness how these policy initiatives have transformed from a progressive and inclusive movement into an elitist pitch, deviating from the very essence of Niti Aayog's prescriptions, the body adds.

SMEV has proposed to the Government through the Finance Ministry that a 10% Green tax on polluting 2Wheelers could offer some balance to the field.  Considering India's commitment to zero carbon emissions, its G20 presidency, the pressing challenges of air pollution, the urgent need to combat climate change, and the imperative of public health, it is essential that EV adoption be pursued with utmost urgency and determination. Unfortunately, the recent developments have hindered the aggressive pursuit of EV adoption, impeding progress towards the aforementioned goals.

SMEV via this letter has expressed its admiration for the work undertaken by Niti Aayog that provided the initial thrust to India’s transition from ICE to EVs. It is in this spirit that the Association has asked Niti Aayog to re-evaluate the current state of FAME II policy and realign these initiatives with the original intent of serving as a catalyst to a mass movement towards sustainable transportation.


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