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

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

National E-Mobility Mission Plan 2020Govt. Schemes


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National E-Mobility Mission Plan, 2020

Mains level : FAME Scheme and its progress


The Supreme Court has sought the response of the government on a petition that alleges the non-implementation of the National E-Mobility Mission Plan, 2020 (NEMMP), which came out in 2012.

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020

  • The plan was launched by the Government of India in 2013 with the objective of achieving national fuel security by promoting electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • It had set a target of achieving a sale of seven million EVs by 2020 and thereby aimed to cut total carbon dioxide emissions by three per cent from the ‘do nothing’ scenario.
  • The government would provide fiscal and monetary incentives for this industry.
  • The plan had made several recommendations for the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), including electric-powered government fleets and public transportation and subsidies for those who opt for EVs.

What was the petition about?

  • The petition contended that the governmental apathy has violated the fundamental rights of citizens to health and clean environment guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
  • The government had failed in its obligation to mitigate the impact of climate change and air pollution partly attributable to emissions from vehicles that burn fossil fuels.
  • Government’s failure to suitably implement these recommendations is the direct cause of air pollution levels that have turned our cities into virtual ‘gas chambers’.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-155PIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : AIS 155, Microdots

Mains level : Application of Microdots

The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has notified regarding to Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-155 in respect of Microdot identifiers affixed  on  the motor vehicles.

What is AIS-155?

  • AIS-155 is an Indian standard for Microdot identifiers which are affixed on the motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies, sub-assemblies through amendment in Rule 92 of the Central Motor vehicles.
  • The Central Motor vehicles (Fourteenth Amendment) Rules, 2019 comes into force on the date of publication in the Official Gazette.

Microdots Technology

  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a draft notification on amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, and allowing motor vehicles and their parts, components, assemblies, sub-assemblies to be affixed with permanent and nearly invisible microdots.
  • These microdots can be read physically with a microscope and identified with ultraviolet light.
  • Microdots are a globally proven technology to ensure originality in spare parts of machines and components, including in the automobile sector.
  • The government has envisaged that with microdots becoming a permanent feature in vehicles, identifying them would become easier in case they are stolen.

How it works?

  • The microdots and adhesive are to become a permanent fixture/affixation which cannot be removed without damaging the asset itself.
  • The microdots are to comply with AIS 155 requirements, if affixed.
  • The technology involves spraying thousands of microscopic dots onto vehicles or other assets to form a unique identification.
  • Each microdot carries this identification which is registered to the owner, but is not visible to the naked eye.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Explained: Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV)Explained


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Hydrogen- Oxygen Fuel Cells

Mains level : Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV)

The Supreme Court has asked the government to look into the feasibility of hydrogen-based tech to deal with vehicular air pollution in New Delhi. India is looking closely at Japan, which has made progress in this field.

How does hydrogen fuel cell work?

  • At the heart of the fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) is a device that uses a source of fuel, such as hydrogen, and an oxidant to create electricity by an electrochemical process.
  • Put simply, the fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate electric current, water being the only byproduct.
  • Like conventional batteries under the bonnets of automobiles, hydrogen fuel cells too convert chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • From a long-term viability perspective, FCEVs are billed as vehicles of the future, given that hydrogen is the most abundant resource in the universe.

So is an FCEV a conventional vehicle or an electric vehicle (EV)?

  • While the fuel cells generate electricity through an electrochemical process, unlike a battery-electricity vehicle, it does not store energy and, instead, relies on a constant supply of fuel and oxygen.
  • It works in the same way that an internal combustion engine relies on a constant supply of petrol or diesel, and oxygen.
  • In that sense, it may be seen as being similar to a conventional internal combustion engine.
  • But unlike the combustion engine cars, there are no moving parts in the fuel cell, so they are more efficient and reliable by comparison. Also, there is no combustion onboard, in the conventional sense.

Classification of EVs

Globally, EVs are bracketed under three broad categories:

  • Battery electric vehicle or BEVs such as the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S, which have no internal combustion engine or fuel tank, and run on a fully electric drivetrain powered by rechargeable batteries.
  • Conventional hybrid electric vehicles or HEVs such as the Toyota Camry sold in the country combine a conventional internal combustion engine system with an electric propulsion system, resulting in a hybrid vehicle drivetrain that substantially reduces fuel use. The onboard battery in a conventional hybrid is charged when the IC engine is powering the drivetrain.
  • Plug-in hybrid vehicles or PHEVs, such as the Chevrolet Volt, too have a hybrid drivetrain that uses both an internal combustion engine and electric power for motive power, backed by rechargeable batteries that can be plugged into a power source.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of fuel cells?

  • Fuel cells have strong advantages over conventional combustion-based technologies currently used in many power plants and cars, given that they produce much smaller quantities of greenhouse gases and none of the air pollutants that cause health problems.
  • Also, if pure hydrogen is used, fuel cells emit only heat and water as a byproduct. Such cells are also far more energy-efficient than traditional combustion technologies.
  • Unlike battery-powered electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles do not need to be plugged in, and most models exceed 300 km of range on a full tank. They are filled up with a nozzle, just like in a petrol or diesel station.

Limitations of Fuel Cells EVs

  • While FCEVs do not generate gases that contribute to global warming, the process of making hydrogen needs energy — often from fossil fuel sources.
  • That has raised questions over hydrogen’s green credentials.
  • Also, there are questions of safety — hydrogen is more explosive than petrol.
  • Opponents of the technology cite the case of the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg airship in 1937.
  • The other major hurdle is that the vehicles are expensive, and fuel dispensing pumps are scarce.

Progress in India

  • In India, so far, the definition of EV only covers BEVs; the government has lowered taxes to 12%.
  • At 43%, hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen FCEVs attract the same tax as IC vehicles.
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been supporting various such projects in academic institutions, research and development organisations and industry for development.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Ethanol production in IndiaPriority 1


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ethanol, EBP programme

Mains level : Ethanol production in India

  • The MoEFCC announced that mills would not require separate environmental clearance to produce additional ethanol from B-heavy molasses.
  • The ministry clarified that the proposals to undertake additional ethanol production from B-heavy molasses/sugarcane juice/sugar syrup/sugar would be considered under the provisions of the EIA Act, 2006.

What are ethanol and molasses?

  • Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is a liquid that has several uses.
  • At 95% purity, it is called rectified spirit and is used as the intoxicating ingredient in alcoholic beverages. At 99%-plus purity, ethanol is used for blending with petrol.
  • Both products are made from molasses, a byproduct of sugar manufacturing.
  • For making sugar, mills crush sugarcane which typically has a total fermentable sugars (TFS) content of 14%.
  • The TFS component consists of sucrose along with the reducing sugars glucose and fructose.
  • Most of this TFS component gets crystallized into sugar, and the remaining part is called molasses.

Molasses stages

  • The molasses go through three stages — A, B, and C, the last one being where the molasses are most un-crystallised and non-recoverable.
  • The ‘C’ molasses roughly constitute 4.5% of the cane, and have a remaining TFS of 40%.
  • After C-molasses are sent to the distillery, ethanol is extracted from them. Every 100 kg of TFS yields 60 litres of ethanol.
  • Thus, from one tonne of cane, mills can produce 115 kg of sugar (at 11.5% recovery) and 45 kg of molasses (18 kg TFS) that gives 10.8 litres of ethanol.

How more ethanol can be produced?

  • Mills can also produce only ethanol from sugarcane, without producing sugar at all.
  • In this case, the entire 14% TFS in the cane is fermented. Here, a mill can make 84 litres of ethanol and zero kg of sugar.
  • In between the two extreme cases, there are intermediate options as well, where the cane juice does not have to be crystallised right till the final ‘C’ molasses stage.
  • The molasses can, instead, be diverted after the earlier ‘A’ and ‘B’ stages of sugar crystal formation.
  • Mills, then, would produce some sugar, as opposed to fermenting the whole sugarcane juice into ethanol.

What new clearance aims?

  • If ethanol is manufactured using ‘B’ heavy molasses (7.25% of cane and with TFS of 50%), around 21.75 litres will get produced along with 95 kg of sugar from every 1 tonne of cane.
  • The latest move by the government is to waive the environmental clearance required to produce ethanol at this stage.
  • In the press release, it has been explained that this was done since this process does not contribute to the pollution load.

Why focus on more ethanol?

  • Mills currently have all-time-high stocks of sugar, and they have been at loggerheads with farmers over non-payment of dues.
  • Mill owners insist that the reason behind their woes is excess production of sugar and fall in its price.
  • Under the circumstances, ethanol is the only real saviour — both for mills and cane growers.
  • Ethanol production has been additionally facilitated with the government mandating 10% blending of petrol with ethanol.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Revised charging infra guidelines for electric vehiclesPriority 1


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAME India Scheme

Mains level : Facilitating early adoption of EVs in India

  • Power ministry has revised guidelines for setting up charging infra for EVs.

Why such move?

  • Lack of charging infrastructure is one of the main reasons behind poor adoption of electric mobility in India.
  • As the State Transport Units (STUs) have started operating electric busses on different routed lack of charging infrastructure has proven to be a significant road block.

Highlights of the revised guidelines

  • At least one Charging Station to be available in a grid of 3 Km x 3 Km in the cities and one Charging Station at every 25 Km on both sides of highways/roads.
  • All Mega Cities & expressways connected to these Mega Cities to be taken up for coverage in first phase, other big cities to be taken up in second phase.
  • For inter-city travel, Fast Charging Station to be installed at every 100 km.
  • Separate charging stations for heavy electric vehicles like buses or trucks after every 100 km on both sides of highways.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under Ministry of Power has been nominated as the Central Nodal Agency to facilitate installation of Charging Infrastructure.
  • These Revised Guidelines and Specifications for charging infrastructure shall supersede the earlier guidelines and standards.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Explained: Economics behind e-vehicle batteriesExplained


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Read the attached story

Mains level : Early adoption of EVs in India


  • Shifting gears in the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the NITI Aayog, in May this year, proposed to ban the sale of all internal combustion engine (ICE) powered three-wheelers post March 2023.
  • It also suggested that all new two-wheelers below 150cc sold after March 2025 should be electric.
  • In consonance with these proposals, the Union Budget announced tax incentives for early adopters.
  • The automobile industry had objected to the proposal and called for a practical approach in framing EV-related policies.
  • There has been the worry that EVs are still not financially viable because of various costs associated with their manufacture and use.

How are cost structures of conventional vehicles and electric vehicles different?

  • The portion of the costs of the drive train of EVs the system in a motor vehicle which connects the transmission to the drive axles in comparison to the cost of the entire vehicle is 4% lower compared to ICE vehicles.
  • This is primarily due to less part in the electric drive train.
  • However, the battery pack takes up nearly half the cost of an electric vehicle.
  • For any meaningful reduction in the physical value of EVs, the cost of battery packs needs to reduce significantly.

Components of a battery pack and their cost

  • The predominant battery chemistry used in EVs is lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion).
  • No new technologies are on the horizon for immediate commercial usage.
  • The cost of the materials or key-components of the battery, namely the cathode, anode, electrolyte, separator, among others, contribute the most (60%) to the total cost.
  • Any reduction in the cost of the battery pack will have to come from a reduction in materials cost or the manufacturing overhead.

How has the cost of the Li-ion battery pack cost evolved in the last decade?

  • The price of these battery packs has consistently fallen over the past few years.
  • This decrease is in part due to technological improvements, economies of scale and increased demand for lithium-ion batteries.
  • Fierce competition between major manufacturers has also been instrumental in bringing down prices.
  • The chart shows the change in the price of Li-ion batteries from 2010 to 2016. It is not clear if the battery cost can be reduced even further.
  • Given that raw materials account for 60% of the cost of the battery pack, the room for further cost reduction is rather limited.

Where does India stand on EV adoption?

  • In India, EV adoption will be driven by two-wheelers rather than cars in high numbers on because India’s mobility market is driven more by two wheelers.
  • According to the NITI Aayog, 79% of vehicles on Indian roads are two-wheelers.
  • Three-wheelers and cars that cost less than ₹10 lakh account for 4% and 12% of the vehicle population, respectively.
  • Two-wheelers will also need smaller batteries when compared to cars and hence the overall affordable cost.
  • India needs to manufacture Li-ion cells in-house. Now, cells are imported and “assembled” into batteries.
  • Setting up a Li-ion manufacturing unit requires high capital expenditure. But battery manufacturing in India is expected to grow as electric vehicles grow.

Are EV vehicles completely environment friendly?

  • In conventional ICEs, petrol or diesel fuels the engine.
  • However, in EVs, batteries are not the fuel; electrons supplied by the battery fuel the vehicle.
  • Presently, most of India’s electricity is generated using conventional sources.
  • In 2018-19, over 90% of India’s electricity was generated from conventional sources, including coal, and around 10% was produced from renewable sources such as solar, wind and biomass.
  • While the rate of electricity generated from renewable sources has increased over the years, more needs to be done for their adoption.
  • This is because the EV-charging infrastructure needs to be powered through renewable sources to make it truly sustainable.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] Why we need to look beyond the ‘electric’ smokescreenop-ed snap


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : E-vehicles : an analysis


The obsession with electric mobility makes it look as if it is the only solution for India’s transportation problems.

What the government must do instead

  1. Bringing down the fuel import bill
  2. Bringing down air pollution

Do not push EVs

  1. We still cannot ensure a 24×7 electricity supply to hospitals. All our villages still do not have a reliable electricity supply.
  2. Close to 80% of the electricity generated is from coal and gas. Yet another 50,000MW of coal-fired power plants are being set up under the National Electricity Plan.
  3. More than 20% of all the electricity generated goes into “transmission and distribution losses”.
  4. Due to inadequate and irregular last-mile supply, close to 15 million tonnes of diesel is used by local generators to produce 80 billion KWh of electricity. 
  5. Close to $2 billion worth of battery storage capacity is imported every year.
  6. Most independent power plants operate at 12-15% below their declared capacity as they over-invoice plant costs. 
  7. There will be immense pressure on the power grid that is not yet fully reliable.

Other solutions available

  1. Air pollution – Construction dust, road dust, thermal power generation, diesel generators, traditional cooking fuels, stubble burning and open waste burning also contribute. Need action against each of these sources.
  2. Dependence on fossil fuels can be cut down not just by banning diesel, but by other more sane and immediate measures. Upgrade to the latest diesel-engine technology in public transport, reduce traffic congestion, ensure adequate power supply and get into diesel-blends.
  3. Ban all Bharat Stage 3 (BS3) vehicles and below. At once, close to 40% of all the 300 million vehicles on the roads will be gone. There’s no “vehicle scrappage policy”.
  4. Public transport
    1. Assure top-notch public transport in India’s top 24 cities. A multi-modal grid of trains, buses, taxis, three-wheelers and two-wheelers could achieve this.
    2. Incentivize the manufacture and purchase of public transport vehicles through lower GST and cheaper loans.
    3. Encourage greater use of public transport among citizens through redemption and loyalty programs. 
    4. Get all organizations with more than 100 employees to use bus fleets.
  5. Decongest the 60 top smart cities. They constitute almost 90% of our vehicular population and thus vehicular pollution. We need to focus on smoother traffic flow, better parking management and pedestrian movement. Close to 12% of vehicular fuel is wasted on idling and traffic snarls. 
  6. Expand the traffic police strength by four-five times in over-jammed cities.
  7. Create and mandate dedicated parking spots for shared mobility services.
  8. Create vast grids of pedestrian skywalks. Operate multi-level parking lots.

Each of these measures would show an immediate impact on vehicle-caused pollution and the use of fossil fuels.

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

[pib] National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP)PIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAME India Scheme

Mains level : Early adoption of EVs in India

NEMMP 2020

  • The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission document providing the vision and the roadmap for the faster adoption of electric vehicles and their manufacturing in the country.
  • This plan has been designed to enhance national fuel security, to provide affordable and environmentally friendly transportation and to enable the Indian automotive industry to achieve global manufacturing leadership.

Other initiatives

  • As part of the NEMMP 2020, Department of Heavy Industry formulated FAME India Scheme in the year 2015.
  • It was aimed to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology and to ensure sustainable growth of the same.


  • In this phase, market creation through demand incentives was aimed at incentivizing all vehicle segments i.e. 2-Wheelers, 3-Wheelers Auto, Passenger 4-Wheeler vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses.
  • The demand incentive was available to buyers of EV in the form of an upfront reduced purchase price to enable wider adoption.
  • Based on outcome and experience gained during the Phase-II of FAME India Scheme was launched.


  • This phase will mainly focus on supporting electrification of public & shared transportation, and aims to support through subsidies 7000 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers.
  • The scheme will be applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or those registered for commercial purposes in e-3W, e-4W and e-bus segments.
  • However, privately owned registerede-2W will also be covered under the scheme as a mass segment.
  • In addition, creation of charging infrastructure will be supported in selected cities and along major highways to address range anxiety among users of electric vehicles.

Assist this newscard with:

[pib] Technical Analysis of FAME II Scheme 

Posted on | PIB
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] Technical Analysis of FAME II Scheme PIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAME II

Mains level : Issues related to the (possible) early adoption of the EVs in India.

  • The NITI Aayog and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) has released a report on opportunities for the automobile sector and government under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles II (FAME II) scheme.

India’s Electric Mobility Transformation

  • The report is titled ‘India’s Electric Mobility Transformation: Progress to Date and Future Opportunities’.
  • It quantifies the direct oil and carbon savings that the vehicles incentivized under FAME II will deliver.
  • According to the analysis, if FAME II and other measures – in public and private space – are successful, India could realize EV sales penetration of 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial cars, 40% of buses and 80% of two and three-wheelers by 2030.
  • For example, achieving these levels of market share by 2030 could generate cumulative savings of 846million tonnes of CO2 over the total deployed vehicles’ lifetime.

Key highlights from the report:

  • The electric buses covered under FAME II will account for 3.8 billion vehicle kilometers travelled (e-vkt) over their lifetime
  • In order to capture the potential opportunity in 2030, batteries must remain a key focal point as they will continue to be the key cost driver of EVs.
  • EVs sold through 2030 could cumulatively save 474 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) worth INR 15 lakh crore and generate net CO2 savings of 846 million tonnes over their operational lifetime.

What more is needed?

  • India needs auto industry’s active participation to ease electric mobility transition.
  • The auto and battery industries could collaborate to enhance customer awareness, promote domestic manufacturing, promote new business models, consider new business models to promote EVs
  • Government should focus on a phased manufacturing plan to promote EVs, provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for phased manufacturing of EVs and batteries.

To read more about FAME II Scheme, navigate to the page:

Second phase of fame to electrify public transport

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

[pib] NuGen Mobility Summit 2019PIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : NuGen Mobility Summit

Mains level : Issues related to adoption of the EVs in India


NuGen Mobility Summit, 2019

  • The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) is organizing a NuGen Mobility Summit, 2019, at Manesar, NCR.
  • The objective of the Summit is to share new ideas, learnings, global experiences, innovations and future technology trends for faster adoption, assimilation and development of advanced automotive technologies for a smarter and greener future.
  • The event aims to bring together the automotive OEMs, professionals, researchers, academic experts, vehicle system suppliers, test equipment supplier, quality managers, product planners, component developers, SAE members and students from all over the world.

About ICAT

  • The International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), Manesar, located in the northern automotive hub of India, is a leading world class automotive testing, certification and R&D service provider under the aegis of NATRiP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project).
  • It is a division of NATRIP Implementation Society (NATIS) under the Department of Heavy Industries, Government of India.
  • It provides services for testing, validation, design and homologation of all categories of vehicles.
  • It has a mission to assist the automotive industry in adopting cutting edge technologies in vehicle evaluation and component development in new generation mobility solutions.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery StoragePriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: About the mission

Mains level:  Issues related to the (possible) early adoption of the EVs in India.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage to drive clean, connected, shared and sustainable mobility initiatives in the country.
  • It also approved a Phased Manufacturing Program to support large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing giga plants in India, to localize production across the electric vehicles value chain.

About the Mission

  • It entails creation of a phased manufacturing programme (PMP) valid for five years till 2024 to support setting up of a few large scale, export competitive integrated batteries and cell manufacturing Giga plants in India.
  • To implement gigawatt-scale battery manufacturing, a National Storage Mission will initially focus on large-scale module and pack assembly plants during the fiscal year that starts next month, followed by integrated cell manufacturing by 2021-22.
  • It will prepare a roadmap for India to leverage its size to produce innovative, competitive multi-modal mobility solutions to be deployed globally.

Why such move?

  • India has a significant market potential for batteries and electric vehicles.
  • Electric vehicles are creating a big demand and due to this demand, the cost of batteries will further come down.
  • IESA estimates the market for energy storage would grow to over 300 GWh during 2018-25.
  • It is working with various EV and charging infrastructure companies through its MOVE – Moving Onwards with Vehicle Electrification – initiative to catalyze the adoption, through indigenous manufacturing, of EV components.
  • Currently, more than ten companies are engaged in module and li-ion pack assembly in India and we expect four to five large companies to enter cell manufacturing in the next two to three years.
  • With appropriate policy support through this mission, Indian companies will be able to diversify into energy storage business.

Terms of reference

  • The programme will provide a plan which will send a clear signal to the industry to make the necessary investments in capacity to localize the value chain.
  • The creation of a PMP would localize production along the entire electric vehicles value chain.
  • The mission will have an inter-ministerial steering committee chaired by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
  • The mission will also coordinate with key stakeholders in ministries/ departments and states to integrate various initiatives to transform mobility in India.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Second phase of fame to electrify public transportGovt. SchemesPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: FAME Scheme

Mains level:  Issues related to the (possible) early adoption of the EVs in India.


  • The second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid) Electric vehicles (FAME) scheme will come into force from April 1, 2019 with the Union Cabinet nod.
  • The scheme will be in effect for a period of three years at a proposed budget of Rs 10,000 crore.

FAME India II Scheme

  • The scheme is the expanded version of the present scheme titled ‘FAME India 1’ which was launched in April 2015.
  • The phase two of the scheme plans to support ten lakhs electric two-wheelers, five lakhs electric three-wheelers, 55 thousands four-wheelers and 7,000 buses.
  • The main objective is to encourage faster adoption of EVs by way of offering upfront incentive on the purchase and also by way of establishing a necessary charging Infrastructure.
  • The largely increased allocation for the new phase is a sign of the critical importance that India’s policy makers are currently placing on shifting to an all-electric Indian mobility sector.

Focus areas

  • In this phase two, emphasis is on electrification of the public transportation that includes shared transport.
  • The second phase will also not provide any incentive for passenger cars used for personal use.
  • In the two-wheelers segment, however, the focus will be on the private vehicles.
  • Demand Incentives on operational expenditure mode for electric buses will be delivered through State/city transport corporation (STUs).
  • In 3W and 4W segment incentives will be applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or registered for commercial purposes.
  • To encourage advanced technologies, the benefits of incentives will be extended to only those vehicles which are fitted with advanced batteries like a Lithium Ion.

Necessary charging infrastructure

  • It also proposes for establishment of charging infrastructure, whereby about 2700 charging stations will be established in metros, other million-plus cities, smart cities and cities of hilly states across the country.
  • It will ensure availability of at least one charging station in a grid of 3 km x 3 km.


  • Inclusion of buses, taxi and e-rickshaws under Fame 2 will play a critical role to promote EVs.
  • The transition to electric buses is expected to not only help reduce carbon footprint but also save fuel.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Govt issues guidelines to set up EV charging stationsPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Byelaws for EV charging

Mains level:  Issues related to the (possible) early adoption of the EVs in India.


  • In line with the 2030 deadline of 25 percent of vehicles in India to be all-electric, the government has issued new guidelines for strengthening the country EV infrastructure.

New Byelaws for EVs

  1. The MoHUA has made amendments to the Model Building Byelaws (MBBL) 2016 and Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines 2014, making provisions for establishing EV charging infrastructure.
  2. The guidelines will act as a guiding document to the state governments and UTs to incorporate the norms and standards of such vehicles in their respective building byelaws.

Charging Stations

  1. It has issued a set of guidelines to set up charging stations for electric vehicles across the country, outlining ways to build such fuelling points every 25 km.
  2. For long range and heavy-duty electric vehicles, there should be at least one station on each side of the highway every 100 kilometers.
  3. The government has also advocated for charging points in residential areas.
  4. It also stated a public charging station should be on both sides of the highways or roads on every 25 km.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] India’s 1st step towards EVs raises concerns tooop-ed snap


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

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Electric vehicle ecosystem in India and issues related to it


Guidelines for EV charging stations

  1. The guidelines released recently by the power ministry for setting up charging infrastructure will go a long way in allaying the apprehensions of existing and prospective manufacturers of electric vehicles in India
  2. The guidelines can be considered the first major step taken by India to push electric mobility

Positive steps

  1. The decision to allow private charging stations to be set up at residences and offices will surely encourage potential buyers of electric vehicles
  2. Also, that an individual setting up a station will not require a licence and power distribution companies will set up a connection on a priority basis are welcome steps
  3. The fact that most of the charging stations in the first stage will be established in megacities such as Delhi and Mumbai is also indicative of the government’s resolve to reduce vehicular pollution in leading urban centres
  4. Most of these cities have recorded alarming levels of pollution in the last few years and the lack of charging infrastructure has been the major roadblock for would-be buyers of electric vehicles

Things that are missing

  1. The guidelines will not fully assuage concerns of the customers and manufacturers
  2. Basic things, such as the incentives on offer for an individual or a corporate entity for setting up charging stations, were not mentioned
  3. Also, there is a lack of clarity on issues such as who will provide the land for the charging stations, and whether it would be given by the government at a discounted rate
  4. The guidelines have also left out the Chinese standard of charging known as GB/T when Chinese companies are leading vehicle manufacturing across the globe

Other concerns

  1. Most electric cars, buses, two- and three-wheelers running on Indian roads at the moment are compatible with the Chinese standards as opposed to the Japanese CHAdeMO, or the CCS of standards of the Europeans and Americans
  2. So, what happens to these vehicles when these new fast-charging stations come up?
  3. Chinese companies like SAIC Motor and BYD have been making high-quality electric vehicles, while most of the Japanese, American and European manufacturers are yet to develop an affordable electric powertrain
  4. Reports suggest that the government may also resort to levying an additional cess on traditional vehicles to generate funds to offer incentives for electric vehicles
  5. This is unfair to the industry as vehicle manufacturers have invested heavily to comply with the new safety, efficiency and fuel efficiency norms
  6. Funds to promote electric mobility should be generated from existing extra taxes levied on diesel vehicles, or the government should reduce the goods and services tax on vehicles to 18% from 28%, before imposing a new cess

Way forward

  1. Our policymakers need to understand that Chinese companies may help develop the electric vehicle ecosystem in India just like the Japanese ones did when the internal combustion engine manufacturing ecosystem was being established almost three decades ago
  2. Recently released guidelines for setting up charging infrastructure leaves a lot of questions unanswered and will not fully assuage concerns of customers and manufacturers
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Quadricycles for personal use get government’s green signalPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Utility of Quadricycle and Road Safety


  • Quadricycles can now be bought for personal usage, with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways notifying insertion of the item ‘Quadricycle’ as a ‘non-transport’ vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

What is Quadricycle?

  1. A quadricycle is a vehicle of the size of a three-wheeler but with four-tyres and is fully covered like a car.
  2. It has an engine like that of a three-wheeler.
  3. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last-mile connectivity.

Open for Personal Use

  1. Though the government permitted the use of quadricycles for commercial purpose in June, the latest notification opens the door for their use for personal purpose.
  2. Bajaj Auto is the only company that makes the vehicle named ‘Qute’, which it exports to countries like Turkey.
  3. Quadricycles may signal the beginning of a new era in public transportation as currently three-wheelers remain a highly unsafe mode for commuting.

Conflicting stance on Road Safety

  1. The introduction of such category also raises a lot of questions about the government’s thought process.
  2. On the one hand, it is talking about road safety and the need for environment-friendly vehicles and therefore stressing on features such as ABS and airbags.
  3. On the other, it is promoting vehicles like quadricycles which do not have such safety mechanisms.
  4. There is a strong possibility that the shift to quadricycles may happen if the vehicles get preferential tax treatment or if the rules are relaxed, particularly for the electric/hybrid variants.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] The road to e-vehiclesop-ed snapStates in News


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Need for a pan-India policy for smoother transition towards clean mobility.


Leading by example

  1. Jharkhand government has recently introduced electric vehicles for official use.
  2. While 20 vehicles have been acquired for the first phase, another 30 are expected to be added to the fleet in the coming weeks.

E-Vehicles integral to Smart Cities Mission

  1. In the current scenario of soaring fuel prices and the spectre of climate change looming large over the planet, it is a welcome step that a Jharkhand government is taking the lead in switching to e-vehicles.
  2. Clean mobility powered by clean energy is our most powerful weapon in our fight against climate change.
  3. It is a well known fact that government officials are tremendous guzzlers of fossil fuel.
  4. It is very realistic opinion that they could exchange their petroleum-based vehicles for electric ones.

Motivation for others

  1. If other States and the Centre were to follow the example set by Jharkhand, it would have two positive spin-offs.
  2. First, it would encourage the spread of a transportation infrastructure specific to e-vehicles.
  3. And second, it would spur the early adoption of e-vehicles by first-time buyers, generating consumer momentum for India’s stated goal of ensuring that by 2030.
  4. This is not far-fetched as quite a few countries, such as Norway and France, already have a substantial percentage of their vehicles running on either electricity or alternate fuels.

Way Forward

  1. Electric vehicles are also an integral component of smart cities, as they are an automatic assumption in frameworks of smart transportation.
  2. Meanwhile, the government needs to speed up the formulation of rules for e-vehicles as a category.
  3. The policy makers must come up with an India-specific road map for a transition that needs to be smooth if only because it is inevitable.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] EVs have the potential to fuel India’s growthop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: EV30@30 campaign, National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), FAME India, International Solar Alliance (ISA)

Mains level: The newscard discusses some issues related to the adoption of the EVs in India.


Most Polluted cities are in India

  1. A recent report by the World Health Organization revealed that 14 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India.
  2. Emissions from the transportation sector contributed significantly to India’s pollution levels.
  3. As per the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change’s estimates, the sector emitted about 188 MT of CO2 till 2010; road transport alone contributed to 87% of the emissions.

Dependence on Oil Imports

  1. India’s current oil import dependency is about 80%.
  2. According to the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, diesel and petrol contribute to about 40% and 13% of oil consumption, respectively.
  3. The cell estimated, in 2014, that 70% of diesel and 100% of petrol demand was from transportation.

Global Efforts for EVs

  1. Globally, there have been various efforts (including financial/non-financial incentives to end users) to promote EVs.
  2. Many countries have rallied towards the EV30@30 campaign, which aims for 30% sales share of EVs by 2030.
  3. The Netherlands, Ireland and Norway are leading the way, aiming to achieve 100% EV sales in passenger light duty vehicles and buses by 2030.

Indian Initiatives

  1. In India, initiatives such as the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) are concerted efforts towards building an EV market.
  2. The procurement of over 500 electric buses by various state transport utilities is a testament to India’s commitment.
  3. India is also taking steps towards building a sustainable EV ecosystem.
  4. The department of heavy industry, Bureau of Indian Standards, and the Automotive Research Association of India are working towards establishing various technical standards for design and manufacturing of EVs and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) or charging infrastructure.

Bengaluru Example is promising

  1. Enabling systematic adoption of EVs requires coordination among urban planning, transportation and power sectors.
  2. A study by the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) arrived at suitable routes for e-buses in Bengaluru.
  3. Upon analyzing the constraints posed by location and size of depots, schedule of buses and electrical loading of the distribution network, using a geographic information system platform and incentives and policy schemes to compare the total cost of ownership of electric and hybrid buses with that of diesel buses.
  4. It was found that around 164 routes were feasible for transitioning to EVs with minimal change in the system.

India’s vulnerabilities

  1. Power: Our electricity distribution grid assets are currently unable to handle large-scale EV energy requirements.
  2. Battery: On the material front, based on current knowledge, India has very little known reserves of lithium; we also import nickel, cobalt and battery-grade graphite, which are crucial components in battery manufacturing.
  3. Engine Equipments: Unavailability of rare earth materials used for making magnets for EV motors is another constraint.
  4. Know-How: On the technological front, we still lack sufficient technical know-how in lithium battery manufacturing. Other technological gaps include lack of semiconductor manufacturing facilities and controller design capabilities.

Utilising strategic potential

  1. India should consider signing a memorandum of understanding with appropriate countries for a continuous supply of raw materials.
  2. Organizations like the International Solar Alliance (ISA), initiated by India and France, can play a significant role in facilitating such trade.
  3. For example, ISA member countries like Australia, Chile, Brazil, Ghana and Tanzania are rich in lithium reserves.
  4. Similarly, nations such as Congo, Madagascar, and Cuba can partner for the supply of cobalt; Burundi, Brazil, and Australia are rich in nickel reserves.

Determination has a way

  1. In a welcome step, the Indian Space Research Organisation has expressed willingness to transfer its in-house technology non–exclusively to qualified production agencies.
  2. Further, the Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt. Ltd are expected to jointly start in-house lithium-ion battery manufacturing soon.
  3. These industries form the bedrock for manufacturing electronics for EVs; policies should bridge gaps that are hindering their growth.
  4. Despite these bottlenecks, there is merit in being ambitious about EVs.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] NITI Aayog to organise India’s First Global Mobility SummitPIBPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: MOVE Summit, NITI Talks,

Mains level:  The newscard highlights the importance of clean energy options in manufacture of electric vehicles that gives various benefits.


India’s MOVE for vehicles electrification

  1. Steeply falling technology costs and business – model innovation are driving the world’s transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
  2. Against this background, NITI Aayog, in collaboration with various ministries and industry partners, is organising ‘MOVE: Global Mobility Summit’.
  3. This Summit will help drive Government’s goals for vehicle electrification, renewable energy integration and job growth and also speed up India’s transition to a clean energy economy.

Aim of the Summit

  1. MOVE Summit aims to bring together and engage with key stakeholders within the rapidly transforming global mobility landscape and to evolve a public interest framework for a shared, connected, zero emission and inclusive mobility agenda for the future.
  2. The Summit, hence, aims to encourage synergies between indigenous industries such as Automobile Manufacturing, Information Technology, Electronics, Telecommunications and others, to integrate with global supply chains and cement India’s position as a progressive, forwarding looking nation.

Participants in the Summit

This summit will be the first Global Mobility Summit of its kind, with over 1,200 expected participants from across the world including Government leadership, Industry leaders, Research Organizations, Academia ,Think Tanks and Civil Society Organisations.

Focus areas

  1. The Summit will constitute three designated components – The Conclave, the Expo and the Featured Events.
  2. The Summit has been organised along key ‘tracks’ to anchor debate and deliberations on towards preparing a collective mobility agenda. The six tracks or themes for the Summit will focus on:
  • Asset Utilization and Services;
  • Comprehensive Electrification ;
  • Alternative Energy;
  • Reinventing Public Transit;
  • Logistics and Goods Transport;
  • Data Analytics and Mobility.

 ‘MOVEMENTUM’, the Expo

  1. It will feature exciting future technologies and cutting edge innovations which will shape the mobility paradigm, showcasing India’s push towards transformative mobility solutions.
  2. The exhibition will offer a first-hand perspective on automotive solutions, upcoming trends in the logistics sector and will see participation from major global players as well as the Indian industry.
  3. The exhibition will have sector-specific focus, showcasing global strengths in various dimensions looking to cater the growing demands of the world.

NITI Talks

  1. NITI Aayog has additionally planned ‘NITI Talks’, for showcasing successful entrepreneurs from across the country from the field of mobility, sustainable development, climate change and multimodal transport.
  2. The global innovation agenda has expanded the creative limits of what future mobility would constitute and India has the potential to be a leader in the ‘global mobility movement’.

National Strategy for Transforming Mobility

  1. NITI Aayog has also been working towards evolving a National Strategy for Transforming Mobility, in the spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism.
  2. It is urging all States and Union territories to formulate state-specific comprehensive strategies by constituting respective State Task Forces.
  3. Inputs received from the various States will be integrated with global best practices to come up with a National Strategy, will also be launched.

Way Forward

  1. The Summit envisages mobility as a key driver for generating employment, accelerating economic growth & providing innovative solutions to improve efficiency and efficacy of transport sector.
  2. New pathways are emerging to provide clean, cost effective mobility services that create new jobs, reduce dependence on oil imports and achieve efficient land usage in cities.
  3. Nowhere in the world is there greater potential to accelerate the transition to a shared, connected and zero emission society than India.  India has a leapfrog opportunity.
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] Electric vehicles don’t need a government pushop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: The newscard discusses some issues related to the (possible) early adoption of the EVs in India.



  1. EVs are the future, but the investments are still risky and rushing the change could leave us with an overpriced fleet of early-generation vehicles

Government is considering some exemptions

  1. Government has recently announced that the government is considering
    (1) exemption from permits, concessional toll,
    (2) a rate of depreciation of 50% as against the prevailing 15% for conventional vehicles,
    (3) lowering of the goods and services tax on batteries and
    (4) a rule mandating taxi aggregators to have a certain percentage of EVs in their fleet
  2. Government has spoken about making the public transport system fully electric through the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme
  3. It’s possible that some of these plans will not materialize

Important issue related to the EVs: Pricing

  1. EVs are superior to internal combustion engines, but also expensive
  2. Therefore, incentives to purchase EVs, as well as procurement of EVs for public transport, could be fiscally expensive, and we might end up with an overpriced fleet of early-generation vehicles
  3. Suggestion: Just like early smartphones, a better idea would be to wait until the rich nations buy sufficient volumes of the products on offer, and bring prices down

An all-electric fleet of buses is an expensive solution to the problem: A World Bank study

  1. A World Bank study on the cost effectiveness of electric and hybrid buses in developing countries concluded that
  2. in order to tackle air pollution, the policy goal should be to incentivise more people to leave their cars at home

Government should be cautious

  1. The government should avoid regulating the supply of infrastructure with arbitrary prescriptions and subsidies
  2. While everyone agrees that charging infrastructure is essential to the success of EVs, whether there should be a charging station at every five kilometres or 10 cannot be known in advance
  3. Factors such as the driving range of vehicles, private charging capabilities of users and charging speed will determine the number and location of charging stations
  4. Similarly, shifts in technology(such as wireless charging, solid state batteries or a transition to hydrogen fuel cells) will have to be anticipated as these might render existing infrastructure obsolete

The way forward

  1. The government needs to focus on the less appealing, but more effective solutions
  2. Choosing new technologies is the task of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, not the government
Posted on | Live Mint
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] India’s double rush for electric vehicles and oil refineriesop-ed snap


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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: Indian government is seriously planning for adopting EVs in near future. This creates some issues in oil refinery industry. The newscard talks about this important issue.


Electric vehicles (EVs) policy of the Indian Government

  1. Last year, India announced its bold intention of electrifying the nation’s automobile fleet by 2030
  2. The reaction has been mixed: EVs are enticing to customers and strongly supported by environmentalists, but automakers and fuel suppliers are not fully on board
  3. The shift to EVs could also ease concerns about economic and energy security and climate change

Need to focus on refining industry

  1. If EVs are going to significantly reduce flows of oil through the Indian economy,
  2. policymakers need to ensure that using one less gallon of petrol when driving electric cars will actually cut an equivalent gallon of oil out of the economy
  3. This requires focusing on the refining industry

Indian oil industry is going through a boom

  1. India is eyeing its oil ambitions and undergoing a major oil infrastructure building boom
  2. Between 2010 and 2017, India’s refining capacity grew by 68%—more than any other nation

An important issue: It is difficult to stop producing just petrol

  1. Refineries are systems that heat, cleave, and mix each drop of oil into objects of value like petrol, plastics, and pharmaceuticals
  2. These complicated processes make it difficult to stop producing just petrol without affecting the multitude of other refined products and inputs that have entrenched oil worldwide
    Important constituents of the crude oil(other than petrol)
  3. In India, this includes diesel to run trains on India’s railway network, which carries 23 million passengers daily;
  4. asphalt used to pave nearly 50,000km of roads and highways connecting economic nerve centres to far-flung borders;
  5. LPG that is slated for a 6% increase this year for cooking in a majority of urban households, and replacing wood and animal dung fires in rural areas;
  6. and jet fuel that will enable India’s intensifying desire for air travel
  7. Moreover, a host of other refined petroleum products also find their way into Indian industry, agriculture,households and transportation—from fertilizer to fabrics to food
  8. Even the new EVs employed to reduce oil demand themselves contain many plastic parts (like seats, dashboards and bumpers) and rubber tyres that are derived from oil

The main issue

  1. An EV future that replaces petrol and diesel engines could be one of the keys to sustainable Indian growth
  2. But to ensure this is the case, it must be determined where the displaced hydrocarbon feedstock will go

What should be done?

  1. In order to provide tangible environmental benefits, spare oil fractions cannot be shifted to:
    (1) petrol and diesel exports, (2) used to produce low-quality residual oils to generate electricity to recharge EVs, or (3) result in inefficient refinery operations (that could lead to higher-priced petroleum products)
  2. Instead, it will be important to identify desired outcomes through a thorough refining analysis
  3. that considers new refining configurations, new product slates, redundancies or gaps in refining assets, product transfers across regional boundaries, and impacts on greenhouse gas emissions
  4. The goal is to ensure that EVs offer up an important piece to solve the petroleum puzzle
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Electric vehicles charging stations need no licence, clarifies Power Ministry


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Electricity Act, National Electric Mobility Mission Plan

Mains level: India’s push for e-vehicles and various schemes related to it

Encouraging e-vehicles

  1. The Power Ministry has categorized charging batteries of electric vehicles as a service
  2. The move will help such stations operate without a license and encourage the use of e-vehicles

Electricity Act

  1. Transmission, distribution, and trading of electricity need licences under the Electricity Act
  2. Therefore, all utilities have to seek licences for sale of power to consumers

Why charging stations do not come under the purview of this act?

  1. During the charging of e-vehicles, a station does not perform any activity related to the transmission, distribution or trading of electricity
  2. Hence charging of batteries of electric vehicles through charging station does not any require license under the provision of the Electricity Act 2003

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan

  1. The government’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan launched in 2013 aims at ensuring 6-7 million electric and hybrid vehicles in India by 2020
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] Planning for electric mobilityop-ed snap

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the b2b

Mains level: Fundamental issues(need to be addressed) discussed in the newscard.


Pollution level in India

  1. The World Health Organisation’s urban air quality database had found four Indian cities to be among the world’s 10 most polluted
  2. The database also placed 10 Indian cities in the 20 worst list

Importance of electric vehicles (EVs)

  1. NITI Aayog has estimated that the nation can save up to Rs. 4 lakh crore by rapidly adopting EVs
  2. EVs have the potential to disrupt the mobility ecosystem, and could have a positive impact on the economy as well as the urban environment


  1. Transitioning from an internal combustion engine (ICE)-based regime to an EV-based one is expected to be a painful process 
  2. NITI Aayog lays stress on the need for a robust action plan to move towards electric mobility by 2030

What should be done?

  1. India needs to address some fundamental issues immediately


  1. The first is about who will take the lead
  2. EVs, unlike ICE vehicles, involve several actors at the national, State and city levels, respectively
  3. Coordination between all three is crucial in driving the EV agenda


  1. The second is figuring out the best mode forward
  2. China has focussed on the use of electric buses as a catalyst for EV penetration
  3. The Netherlands has captured the EV market using a simple yet well-crafted strategy of creating charging infrastructure and encouraging investment in charging technology by providing incentives to EV buyer
  4. These two case studies show that sustained growth is possible only due to positive economic impacts of EVs. India is today the largest manufacturer and exporter of two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws
  5. Could these vehicles pave the way for an EV revolution?


  1. The third is the battery conundrum
  2. India does not produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries currently, and companies making battery packs are dependent almost exclusively on imports from China
  3. Accelerating EV use in India should be linked to the “Make in India” goal and domestic battery production
  4. Investment is required for research and development in battery-making and exploring alternative technologies


  1. The fourth is about charging infrastructure
  2. EV charging is more than just using electricity. It involves exchange of information requiring a communication protocol
  3. There is no unique or single-charging technology for EVs
  4. The three major EV users, China, Japan and the European Union, have their own charging technologies which are often conflicting and not interchangeable
  5. The government needs to select or develop appropriate charging technology that avoids multiplicity and reduces the cost of infrastructure, while making it convenient and safe for users

The way forward

  1. India, however, needs a road map, with timelines, processes, well-researched impact studies, bold initiatives and robust investments in technological research to turn its EV dream into reality
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

Govt drops the idea of an India EV policy


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: FAME scheme, NITI aayog

Mains level: Prospects of adoption of EV technology in India

No need for any India EV policy now

  1. The government has decided against formulating an electric vehicle (EV) policy
  2. This is a remarkable volte-face, given that as recently as last month, the policy was awaiting approval from the union cabinet
  3. The government’s ambitious plan was to shift to electric vehicles by 2030

Industry demand

  1. The existing FAME (incentive) scheme should continue for another two years
  2. Electric vehicles should continue to be taxed at the current level

Benefits of switching to EV

  1. A NITI Aayog report said that adoption of electric and shared vehicles could help India save $60 billion in diesel and petrol, along with cutting down as much as 1 gigatonne of carbon emissions by 2030


FAME scheme

  1. Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India Scheme was launched  with the objective to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing eco-system
  2. The FAME India was launched in 2015 under the National Electric Mobility Mission
  3. It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry
  4. The scheme has 4 focus areas i.e. Technology development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure
  5. The FAME India Scheme is aimed at incentivising all vehicle segments i.e. 2 Wheeler, 3 Wheeler Auto, Passenger 4 Wheeler Vehicle, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses
  6. The scheme covers Hybrid & Electric technologies like Mild Hybrid, Strong Hybrid, Plug in Hybrid & Battery Electric Vehicles
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

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

Image source


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


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

[op-ed snap] Time for auto industry to go all electricop-ed snap

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From the UPSC perspective following things are important:

Prelims Level: Particulars of the EV technology

Mains Level: The article is important for both Mains paper 2 and paper 3.



  1. The article talks about Electric Vehicles(EVs) and how government is planning to achieve its targets related to EVs.

India is going after clean and renewable energy sources

  1. The government has been working to effect a radical shift in India’s energy production and consumption patterns to reduce dependence on fossil fuels
  2. According to last year’s National Electricity Plan (NEP3) forecast, India will achieve(ahead of schedule), the target of renewable energy being 40% of total power production by 2030
  3. The target was declared at the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015

NITI Aayog’s report on mobility transformation 

  1. The government intends that all vehicles sold in India by 2030 should be electric
  2. A recently released NITI Aayog report on mobility transformation outlines a feasible and phased approach to achieve this goal
  3. It presents the government’s vision of a shared, electric and connected mobility paradigm where mobility is a service based on an electric vehicle (EV) fleet, enabled by the convergence of
    (1) low-cost technologies,
    (2) smart designs,
    (3) business model innovation and supportive policies

The government is leading by example

  1. The Central government is calling global tenders for the first 10,000 electric cars, of which a pilot phase of 500 cars has already been awarded to Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra & Mahindra
  2. Among the states, the Karnataka government has taken the lead in formulating India’s first comprehensive EV policy
  3. The policy will support a complete ecosystem from manufacturing to deployment of charging stations

Why EVs are not popular in India?

  1. Due to range anxiety, high capital cost and long charging time, despite the obvious benefits of very low running costs and zero emission

Government’s plan for Public Transport

  1. Coming to public transport, despite a sharp increase in private vehicle ownership over the last decade, India still relies heavily on public transport
  2. The government plans to make public transport more economical and environment-friendly by promoting electric buses
  3. However, the current generation of electric buses with traditional battery technology are prohibitively expensive at four to five times the cost of a diesel bus

How to counter challenges related to EVs?
One way is “Battery swapping” 

  1. To help bring down the capital cost of electric buses, experts are recommending two things among the various solutions being looked at
    (1) reducing the battery size and
    (2) adopting “swappable” battery technology,
  2. It will help in bringing down the upfront capital cost while reducing the operational cost and charging time
  3. The Indian auto industry is actively working in this direction as it helps state public transport agencies to induct electric bus fleets without incurring too much additional expenditure

Benefits of connected vehicles

  1. The government’s agenda also focuses on developing an ecosystem to support the EV industry
  2. It will enable various stakeholders to stay connected, enabling a high-functioning ,EV-driven public transport system
  3. For example, an electric bus heading for the last stop can signal EV taxis in the area about how many passengers it will be offloading
  4. This ensures optimum onward journey options for the disembarking passengers
  5. Or EVs can communicate with refuelling stations about battery requirements, so there is never a danger of getting stranded
  6. These connected vehicles are also a necessary step towards the inevitable progression to autonomous vehicles

The Way Forward

  1. The auto industry has been growing at a steady pace and India is now becoming an export hub for small and medium-sized cars
  2. This leaves the auto industry well-placed to go all out on electric
  3. This is an opportune time for the auto industry to embrace the government’s EV push and collaborate with technology and mobility solution providers to capitalize on this opportunity
  4. It will hugely benefit the nation, economically and environmentally
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] Getting charged upop-ed snap

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Q.) “Research and smart trade agreements are needed to realise India’s ambitious electric vehicles target.” What kind of research and trade agreements are we looking for?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NEMMP, CEEW

Mains level: This topic is strategically and environmentally important.



  1. The article is related to India’s ‘ambitious electric vehicles target’

Important announcement

  1. The Government has recently announced that only electric vehicles (EVs) will be sold in India from 2030
  2. The current National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) has set a sales target of only 5-7 million EVs and hybrid electric vehicles annually by 2020

What is needed to achieve the above target?

  1. The Indian automobile market is expected to increase to an annual sales figure of around 23 million by 2030
  2. Replacing these with EVs would require a significant push as far as vehicle-charging infrastructure and batteries are concerned
  3. Technical Requirement: The transition would require a battery capacity of about 400 GWh (gigawatt hours) each year
  4. It is equivalent to increasing the current global EV battery production by a factor of five, just to cater to the Indian EV market

Can this target be achieved by imports?

  1. The annual EV battery market is expected to be around $30-55 billion
  2. India cannot afford to fulfil the demand solely through imports

What kind of batteries are used in EVs?

  1. Variants of lithium-ion batteries such as lithium-titanate, lithium-cobalt, and lithium-sulphurare predominantly used in electric vehicles

A Study by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)

  1.  According to a study on India’s critical non-fuel minerals by the CEEW, manufacturing lithium-ion batteries would require critical minerals
  2. These minerals includes cobalt, graphite, lithium and phosphate
  3. Among them, lithium is of particular importance

Issues with lithium Prices

  1. 95% of global lithium production comes from Argentina, Australia, Chile and China
  2. The recent demand surge in the electric mobility market has already resulted in a twofold increase in lithium prices
  3. It is estimated by the CEEW that India would require about 40,000 tonnes of lithium to manufacture EV batteries in 2030
  4. it is important that India secure mineral supplies for its domestic industry by acquisition of overseas assets such as mineral reserves and the associated production

The Way forward

  1. There is a need to formulate policies which can encourage domestic public and private mining companies to invest in overseas lithium mining assets
  2. Also, India must focus on creating a vibrant battery research and development ecosystem domestically
  3. Research should focus on developing alternative technologies containing minerals with low supply risks
  4. And battery recycling techniques to recover associated minerals and materials
  5. Recycling lithium batteries will significantly reduce the burden in procuring fresh resources


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

[op-ed snap] The hybrid routeop-ed snap

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Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology

Q.) “An incremental, technology-neutral approach to the adoption of electric vehicles is the way forward for Automobile Sector in India” Comment.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Different types of Electric Vehicles

Mains level: This article is related to many topics of the mains syllabus viz Environment, Industry, Government Policies, etc.



  1. The article talks about the automobile sector in India and the future of electric mobility in India

India’s performance in Automobile Sector

  1. India went through a radical transformation from a minor manufacturer of automobiles to the fastest growing auto-hub within a short span
  2. Progressive policy has led to India emerging as the fifth largest automobile manufacturing country in the world
  3. How: by adopting a consistent, well thought out Automotive Mission Plan 2006-2016 (AMP)

Contribution to Employment Generation

  1. The auto industry provides direct and indirect employment to 32 million people with an annual turnover of nearly Rs 6,00,000 crore

How India’s policy in this sector is different from that of China?

  1. India’s has achieved success without the adoption of coercive policies for localisation of production as is done in China
  2. India’s success is attributed to positive engagement maintained with global giants, for establishing competitive manufacturing base in India

World is now going for non-fossil fuel vehicles

  1. The world is still largely dependent on fossil fuels for transportation
  2. But there is now an increased momentum towards alternate energy sources

India’s take on non-fossil fuel vehicles

  1. Besides the environment, India also has strategic and economic interest in shifting away from fossil fuels
  2. Challenge: The challenge ahead is not only on how to encourage electric automobiles but also to take the industry forward without losing India’s current competitive advantage

Different types of Electric vehicles

  1. Pure electric vehicles (BEVs) that use energy stored in batteries obtained from the grid
  2. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs)

Global experience in Electric mobility sector

  1. Global experience indicates that most countries have adopted a technology-neutral approach
  2. And supported the full range of electric vehicle technologies till such time that they attained market acceptability

The way forward

  1. The government should push more aggressively for the BEV option for of two-wheelers and three-wheelers
  2. And support the full range of electric technologies for other vehicle segments with a clear roadmap for the evolution towards FCVs
  3. Hopefully, to reduce fossil fuel consumption, lower pollution and encourage electric mobility, a more holistic approach will be adopted by the government
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] Remember FAME India scheme?Govt. SchemesPIB

  1. FAME India Scheme: [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India]
  2. Objective: Support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing eco-system.
  3. The scheme has 4 focus areas: Technology development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.
  4. During the Financial Year 2015-16, an amount of Rs. 75 Crore was allocated for this scheme, which was almost fully utilised. That’s great!
  5. Under this scheme, about 99000 hybrid/electric vehicles (xEVs) have been given direct support by way of demand incentives
Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[pib] How do we decide on the closures of Sick PSUs?PIB

  1. Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), as a nodal department issues guidelines for closure of sick/ loss making CPSEs and disposal of movable and immovable assets
  2. CPSE = Central Public Sector Enterprises
  3. The concerned administrative Ministries /Departments are responsible for formulation and implementation of closure plans
  4. NITI Aayog carries out monitoring the implementation of the decision of closure.
  5. Remember the roles of these 3 bodies just in case UPSC Prelims grills you on these!

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