Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Electric vehicles: charging infrastructure needs a jolt to meet 2030 target

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Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Energy Efficiency Services Limited, FAME scheme, National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020

Mains level: Shifting to renewable sources of energy and associated problems


All electric vehicle push

  1. Government is mulling on the target to achieve an all-electric fleet of vehicles by 2030
  2. This will need a substantial push from the government and the private sector in terms of setting up the charging infrastructure, enabling cheaper availability of raw materials and incentivising mid-way measures such as hybrid vehicles

What steps have been taken?

  1. Different departments and ministries have stepped up their engagement with the electric vehicle industry
  2. Energy Efficiency Services Limited, a government firm, has put in motion plans to procure 10,000 e-vehicles and has already given out tenders
  3. The Government also notified the scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME), as a part of its National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020
  4. The scheme has four focus areas: technology development, pilot project, charging infrastructure and demand creation
  5. The scheme has been extended until March 31, 2018

Is the infrastructure ready?

  1. The Centre has begun pilot projects in this regard
  2. There are several initiatives by the private sector too which aim to install various charging locations across major Indian cities

What are the roadblocks?

  1. Very few global carmakers have brought their electric variants into India
  2. The government has also made a distinction between EVs and hybrid vehicles under the GST regime with hybrid vehicles being taxed at a much higher rate than EVs
  3. People are still sceptical about the shift to all-electric vehicles since they fear the charge duration of the batteries
  4. Most of the chargers being installed across the country are AC chargers which provide a limited charging as compared to DC
  5. Battery technology has not changed over the years- while the cost has reduced, their capacity has not changed as drastically

Way forward

  1. Shifting the fleet to electric will not address the impact on the environment
  2. This has to be accompanied by change in the energy mix to renewable sources

Back2Basics

Energy Efficiency Services Limited

  1. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is a joint venture of four National Public Sector Undertakings – NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation Limited, Rural Electrification Corporation Limited and POWERGRID Corporation of India Limited, set up under Ministry of Power, Government of India
  2. EESL is a Super Energy Service Company (ESCO)
  3. It acts as the resource center for capacity building for State Distribution Companies (DISCOMs), Energy Regulatory Commissions (ERCs), State Development Authorities (SDAs), upcoming ESCOs, financial institutions, etc
  4. EESL is set up to create and sustain markets for energy efficiency in the country
  5. EESL is leading the market related activities of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE), one of the 8 national missions under Prime Minister’s National Action Plan to Climate Change
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