The government, World Bank and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) are set to launch a $1 billion fund to provide guarantees against loan default to lenders financing purchase of electric two- and three-wheelers, the Economic Times reported. According to a person involved in the talks, the entities will initially set up a $300 million “first loss risk sharing instrument” and all financial institutions would be able to use the funds as a first-loss instrument. In case of defaults of loans on purchase of electric vehicles, the instrument would act as a hedging mechanism for banks to access and is expected to bring down the cost of financing EVs by 10-12%, he further added. Currently, the interest rate on loans to purchase electric two- and three-wheelers is 20-25%. NITI Aayog is the facilitating agency for the project, aimed at ensuring faster and easier financing of electric vehicles.
More e-buses in Delhi could reduce pollution-related mortality and morbidity : study
A study found that Delhi’s current bus fleet could lower its overall pollutant emissions by 74.67% if it switched to electric buses. According to the study, e-buses could prevent 44 tonnes of PM 2.5 from being produced annually, as well as 1,370 deaths and 2,808 hospital admissions. At present, Delhi has a total of 7,310 public transportation buses, including 7,060 CNG buses and 250 e-buses, of which 150 e-buses were introduced in May this year. In the next three years, the Delhi government intends to electrify 80% of its buses, and by 2025, it hopes to have 8,000 e-buses in total. However, experts said that loss of productive time on charging and deterioration of batteries over time continue to affect the potential benefits of electrification of public transport in the national capital.
Govt to digitally monitor EV parts localisation under the FAME-II scheme
To promote domestic manufacturing and to ensure imported vehicles do not get incentivised at the expense of Indian taxpayers, the government will soon make an automated data transfer system to monitor localisation content of electric vehicles availing subsidies under the Rs10,000 crore FAME-II policy. The IT-enabled system based on Application Programming Interface (API) would enable smooth transfer of a set of critical data related to domestic value addition (DVA) from the beneficiaries’ existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to the nodal ministry’s portal along with traceability of products based on digital footprints from October 1. The system will not encroach on non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and yet enable monitoring and verification of domestic value addition being done by companies, said top sources.
Earlier, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) started investigations against multiple electric vehicles makers alleging they could have violated the minimum local value addition criteria to receive subsidies under the flagship EV promotion scheme, causing revenue loss to the government in excess of Rs 300 crore.
Centre set to replace its petrol and diesel cars with EVs
The central government plans to procure 3,500 electric vehicles in order to replace petrol and diesel-powered cars from its fleet, the Economic Times reported. The report mentioned that the programme will expand as and when more affordable EVs enter the market. Currently, the total number of vehicles with state governments and the Centre is nearly 600,000. Convergence Energy Services (CESL) CESL, the agency that handles the acquisition of EVs for the Centre and the state governments, said that it has received an order of 3,500 EVs. CESL’s spokesperson further added that given the pace of adoption, the figure of 3,500 could go up to 10,000 in the next two years.
EV battery safety norms deadline now pushed to December
Electric vehicle manufacturers have been given some more time to comply with the new set of EV battery safety standards announced by the Road & Transport Ministry government earlier this year. The safety norms introduced were to come into effect on October 1, but the deadline has now been deferred to December 1, 2022. In a recent press statement by the ministry, it said that the new EV battery safety norms will be brought into effect in two phases. Phase 1 will begin on December 1, 2022 and phase 2 will come into effect on March 31, 2023.