The Australian authorities have identified at least five mines of lithium and cobalt for India.

Five lithium and cobalt mines identified in overseas exploration

The collaboration between the Ministry of Mines, state-owned Khanij Bidesh India (KABIL) and Australia’s Critical Minerals Office to secure supplies of critical minerals has met with some success. The Australian authorities identified at least five mines of lithium and cobalt for India, the Times of India reported. KABIL is the joint venture between state-run NALCO, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Corporation. The government is looking for similar avenues in Chile, Argentina, and Mongolia. Copper and lithium are among the minerals being monitored in these nations. According to officials, India is considering free trade agreements (FTAs) with Chile and Peru while keeping in mind its strategic need to secure key minerals. Additionally, measures are being done to increase processing capacity for these minerals, an industry in which China now holds a dominant position globally. 

EV policy 2.0, among others, on hold in Delhi as transport dept sacks employees

After many of the Delhi transport department’s advisors, consultants, and fellows faced employment termination, important initiatives like the Electric Vehicle Policy 2.0, cab aggregator, and premium bus service programmes have been left in limbo. According to the Times of India, almost 400 employees overall lost their employment, including 50 from the transport department. The appointments were allegedly arranged without the LG’s consent and in violation of the reservation policies. Senior transport department officials stated that stakeholder dialogue for the cab aggregator programme was ongoing. Some of the highlights of the draft scheme to regulate cab aggregators and delivery service providers were mandatory panic buttons in taxis, integration with an emergency response number ‘112’, and phase-wise transition to EVs, etc. Delhi’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that while the pace of work could be a little slow due to all these obstructions, the government will not let the public work stop.

Centre extends PLI scheme for vehicles to FY 2028

Centre will extend the Rs 25,938-crore production-linked incentive scheme for the automotive sector by one year, following which the five-year scheme, originally in place from 2022-23 to 2026-27, will be active until 2027-28, reported ET and other news media. Currently automakers can get PLI subsidy for determined sales of Advanced Automotive Technology (AAT) products (vehicles and components) manufactured in India from 1 April 2022 onwards for a period of five consecutive years.The scheme is being extended by one year. As many as 95 companies have been admitted under the scheme that looks to promote local manufacturing of new technology products such as EV through subsidies.

The investment as reported by the applicants (till 30th June 2023) is Rs 10,755 crore. The government has published Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for DVA certification on 27th April 2023. The scheme has two parts: Champion OEM, which will make electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, and Component Champions, which will make high-value and high-tech components.

Maharashtra: Electricity usage by EVs reaches 14.44 mn units in July

According to Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL), the power usage for electric vehicles in the state rose more than three times from 4.56 million units in September last year to 14.44 million units in July 2023, the Business Standard reported. In March earlier this year, the power usage had reached 6.10 million units. The sale of power for EVs was calculated from 3,214 public and private charging stations across the state. Public as well as private EVs are on a rise in the state. While only four electric buses were sold in 2018, the figure reached 336 in 2022 and 1,399 at the end of March 2023. The sale of EVs in Maharashtra also rose from 4,643 in 2018 to 1,89,698 in 2022 and 2,98,838 as on March 31 this year, where two-wheelers comprise the vast majority of EVs at more than 2.5 lakh.

Revolt returns ₹50.02 cr of FAME-II subsidy to the Centre

Revolt Intellicorp Pvt. Ltd. has returned ₹50.02 crore, including interest, to the Centre as compensation after an investigation revealed that the company had violated guidelines intended to subsidise locally produced electric vehicles. The RattanIndia-owned enterprise made a payout against ₹44.30 cr it had received as subsidy under the FAME-II scheme. Hanif Qureshi, joint secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) told the Economic Times that Revolt is now free to request a subsidy under the FAME scheme, subject to government permission, now that it has paid its dues. 13 EV two-wheeler manufacturers were under investigation by MHI for failing to uphold their localization obligations under the 10,000 crore FAME-II scheme and seven businesses were discovered selling EVs with larger than allowed imported components, violating the FAME regulations. Revolt’s choice to issue a refund contrasts sharply with the stance taken by other defendant corporations who are fighting the government’s assertion.

China’s EV trials: Abandoned vehicles piling at home, consumer challenges in Europe

China, the biggest EV manufacturer in the world, is facing challenges as the playing field is quickly evolving. To begin with, abandoned and obsolete EVs are piling up in Chinese cities. China became a world leader in electric vehicles thanks to a subsidy-fueled boom, but the country’s lots are now teeming with abandoned battery-powered cars. The vehicles were probably abandoned after the ride-hailing firms that owned them went out of business or because they were going to become outdated as more and more EVs with greater features and longer ranges were released by automakers. Moving on to challenges overseas, Chinese brands are facing recognition failure from potential customers and additional costs in Europe. While 8% of new EVs sold in Europe so far this year were made by Chinese brands, up from 6% last year and 4% in 2021, surveys indicate most potential EV buyers in Europe do not recognise Chinese brands. Also, while Chinese EVs (Є32,000) are priced significantly lower than their European counterparts(Є56,000), logistics, sales taxes, import duty and meeting European certification requirements add additional costs. 

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