India is perhaps one of the benchmarks when it comes to the adoption of electric vehicles as a mainstream mode of transportation. Not only is the country home to hundreds of EV-centric startups, the government is also taking quite a lot of initiatives in order to accelerate the adoption and mainstream integration of EVs in the country. In line with this, India has recently released revisions to its FAME II policy.
The country's FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India ) has seen a recent revision which has drastically increased government support towards electric vehicles. The new amendment mandates a whopping 50 percent increase to the government subsidy to Rs 15,000, or around $205 USD per kWh. This will definitely result in the massive price reductions of some of the country's most popular electric two-wheelers such as the Bajaj Chetak and TVS iQube.
Given the new amendment to the FAME II scheme, the Ather 450X, a premium electric scooter currently available in India will now be Rs 14,500, or nearly $200 USD cheaper. This is particularly important especially given the tight urban layout in many of India's cities, as well as the increasingly price-sensitive market given the current global situation. Under the FAME II guidelines, electric two-wheelers must meet certain parameters in order to become eligible for the government subsidy which is capped at 40-percent of the vehicle's cost. For instance, EVs must provide a real-world, tested range of at least 80 kilometers in a single charge, and a top speed of at least 40 kilometers per hour.
In a report published by Indian automotive publication AutoCar India, Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Ather Energy expressed his excitement towards the revised FAME II guidelines. “The revision in the FAME policy, increasing the subsidy by 50 percent per kWh is a phenomenal move. Sales of electric two-wheelers have grown despite the pandemic and with this additional subsidy, we expect electric two-wheeler sales to disrupt the market, and clock over 6 million units by 2025.”
In line with the revised FAME II guidelines, several other electric motorcycle manufacturers are taking steps towards bolstering fast-charging infrastructure in the country. For instance, Ola Electric seeks to set up more than 100,000 charging stations under what it's calling the Hypercharger Network. Additionally, TVS and Convergence Energy have teamed up to develop a similar network of charging stations across the country.