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

India: Centre slashes EV subsidies budget, slaps 5% import duties on li-ion cells

India’s government has slashed the national budget for subsidies on EVs in its 2019 interim budget from Rs. 260 crores to Rs. 195 crores. The decision comes despite the Union finance minister re-affirming that the Centre wanted India to lead the world in EV adoption.

The minister did, however, confirm greater input from renewable sources to power India’s EV transition. Nevertheless, lithium-ion cells have now been slapped with a 5% import duty – while exempting their components from any Customs duties – in the hopes that it will boost domestic li-ion cell and battery manufacturing.

EV100: 31 corporate giants commit to all-electric fleets by 2030

Thirty-one corporate giants have pledged to electrify their existing fleet of about two  million vehicles by 2030 as part of the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative. The names include Unilever, IKEA and Heathrow Airport (UK), and the move could cut up to 6.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Curbing air pollution was one of the top three incentives behind their pledge. The other two were reducing GHG emissions and the savings to be incurred by switching to electric propulsion.

Mahindra to sell 20,000 new EVs, tie-up with Uber for EV pilot

India’s Mahindra Group is reportedly targeting sales of 20,000 electric three and four-wheelers this year – primarily to fleet operators in urban centers. It has also tied up with the Thane Municipal Corporation – the civic body of a city just outside Mumbai – and is talking to 3-4 other cities that are interested in electric intra-city fleets.

Mahindra has also announced that it will tie up with cab-hailing service Uber for its soon-to-be-launched pilot project with electric cars.

China’s 2018 EV sales rose by a whopping 67%

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has reported that China posted a record 67% rise in its EV sales for 2018 (compared to 2017) – with 1.3 million “new energy” vehicles (including both fully electric vehicles and hybrids) sold in the country last year. In contrast, India sold merely 261,000 EVs last year.

China’s figures are even more impressive considering only about four million EVs are currently in use across the world. However, the number is expected to swell to 1.9 million EVs in 2019. Much of the staggering growth is due to the Chinese government’s increasingly ambitious EV targets, and its efforts to clamp down on air pollution.

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