Public service only: India’s electric 3-wheelers must now be employed for public service alone to avail subsidies under FAME II | Image credit: Piaggio India

Govt. makes public transport permit mandatory for EVs to benefit from FAME-II sops

Electric three-wheeler and four-wheeler EVs will, from April 1, 2019, onwards, have to produce a valid government permit that states the vehicle will be only used for public transport only, if the owners want to avail the incentives listed under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles FAME-II.

Some of these benefits include an incentive of Rs.50,000 each for e-rickshaws that cost up to Rs.5 lakh and a Rs.1.5 lakh each incentive for four-wheelers with an ex-factory price of up to Rs.15 lakh. The need to show a public transport permit arises from the fact that the scheme doesn’t allow privately-owned three-wheelers and four-wheelers to avail these incentives.

Delhi to get 131 EV charging stations, Goa calls for tenders for 100 e-buses   

In a major boost to India’s electric vehicles market, its Capital, New Delhi, will get 131 charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) this year. The aim is to encourage people to switch to EVs by providing easy access to recharging facilities, and the (chargeable) stations will be operational within three months.

Meanwhile, the state of Goa has called for tenders for 100 electric buses. The tendering process will be carried out through NTPC’s Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) and the scope of work will be inclusive of maintenance of the fleet.

It’s China’s e-buses, not Tesla, that are denting oil demand

The oil industry needs to look beyond Tesla and recognise an even bigger threat – China’s e-buses. According to a BloombergNEF report, a total of 2,70,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will be displaced by electric buses, most of which are in China. This is more than three times the displacement by passenger electric vehicles across the world.

While the report claims the volume of oil displaced in 2019 is more than 14 times higher than what it was in 2014, it also concludes that this isn’t enough to create a sizeable impact on oil market. But experts call it a good start, with the EV market’s impact on the oil market only set to grow in the coming years.

China scales back on EV subsidies

China, which has been churning out electric vehicles by the droves, but without much innovation in technology, has now decided to cut subsidies awarded to these vehicles. The aim is to encourage local manufacturers to focus on quality more than quantity.

The country, for example, has cut the subsidy on pure battery electric cars with driving ranges of 400km and above by half (to 25,000 yuan ($3,700) per vehicle from 50,000 yuan), according to a statement made by the Ministry of Finance. Also, from now onwards, electric cars will need a range of 250km, much higher than the previous 150km, to benefit from any of the subsidies. Government support has certainly aided the rapid growth of China’s EV market, but at the cost of making better quality cars. Last week’s cuts were deeper than expected with shares of the country’s top EV makers sliding after the news broke.

Canada announces CAD 5,000 incentive for EVs

In a bid to encourage more Canadians to buy zero-emission vehicles, the Canadian government announced a 5,000 CAD for buyers of EVs costing up to 45,000 CAD in its federal budget released last week. The government’s push for such vehicles is significant as four Canadian provinces are all set to start paying a federal carbon tax on gasoline. It is also election year in Canada.

The budget also aims to expand EV infrastructure across the country by setting aside 130 million CAD over the next five years to build EV charging stations at convenient locations such as workplaces and public parking spots.

Buy EVs, save more: NYC shows world how it’s done

Recent New York City (NYC) government data on its electric vehicle fleet (NYCF) revealed a dramatic drop in operating expenses. According to the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), the city saved a considerable amount of money after it began switching to EVs as part of the NYC Green Fleet initiative, which has a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025. One of the major reasons for the savings – EVs don’t require oil change, air filter replacement, spark plugs or transmission servicing – which the DCAS is spending quite a bit on with its gas and hybrid cars.

The data reveals that in 2018, NYCF incurred a maintenance cost of $1,805.24 on 11 of its Ford Focus gas-powered vehicles (GPVs). In comparison, it spent just $386.31 on 7 of its Ford Focus EVs. The future looks even more green and pocket-friendly for NYC as the DCAS has pledged to add at least 2,000 plug-in EVs into service by 2025. As of January 2019, 1,756 of these were already on the road, with another 163 on order.

Oslo to become first city to install wireless EV chargers

Norway is more than keeping up with its tag of the fastest-growing electric car market. Its capital, Oslo, will now become the first city to install wireless, induction-based charging stations for electric taxis, The Verge reported. The country is doing all it can to reach its ambitious goal of getting a zero-emission cab system by 2023.

The country is working with Finnish utilities firm Fortum, which will, together with US firm Momentum Dynamics and the municipal government of Oslo, install charging plates in the road that will connect to energy receivers in the e-taxis in order to charge, according to Fortum’s press announcement. Norway can pull off such a major transition in such a short span of time primarily because it has a population of only 5.3 million people, The Verge reported.

UK firm to spend £1 billion installing solar-powered EV charging stations

Gridserve, a UK-based firm, has unveiled plans to install ‘electric forecourts’ to alleviate EV customers’ range anxieties. The project involves a capital investment of £1 billion and will install 100 such facilities across the country. The chargers will reportedly be capable of outputs as high as 500kW, and each forecourt may also be equipped with battery-energy storage.

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