The electric two-wheeler industry clocked in sales of 25,735 high-speed electric two-wheelers in the January to December 2020 period which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is a healthy number considering that sales stood at 27,224 units in the previous calendar year. However, the ambitious target of generating a sale of 1 million under FAME 2 is nowhere in sight.
FAME 2 was launched in April 2019 and with a plan to put at least 1 million high-speed electric two-wheelers on the road by March 2022. The actual cumulative sales since January 2019 has been 52,959 units, however, of these two-wheelers that benefited from the FAME 2 scheme stood only at 31,813 units, while the remaining 21,146 units did not qualify for the same.
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, Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), said.
“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 lakhs electric two-wheelers.
“We have lately 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 crores 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, charging, etc. and lastly, the government continued support to the aligned industry, perhaps the only vital missing link is a robust, customer-friendly FAME 2 policy.
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