The government is unlikely to link the subsidy for battery swapping to adherence of standards. Official sources say that the battery swapping policy has already been finalised and will be notified shortly. The industry has voiced concerns around the interoperability as the existing electric vehicle manufacturers are opposed to homogenous swapping standards. The development of interoperable Indian standards will ensure a level playing field to all the manufacturers as any manufacturer can design their product as per the requirements mentioned in the Indian Standards.
In response to this, another official pointed out that one of the focuses of the policy is to avoid monopoly over the battery swapping ecosystem. The interoperable standards will offer the customer convenience of easy access to battery swap stations at the nearby market, parking lots, or fuel stations preventing monopoly of any particular service provider.
Biden proposes rewriting US biofuel law to decarbonise transportation
The Biden administration is planning to rewrite the 17-year-old US biofuel mandate, according to Bloomberg. This includes a plan to encourage use of renewable natural gas to power electric vehicles, which could potentially benefit Tesla Inc. and other automakers. The Renewable Fuel Standard was initially designed in 2005 to push more ethanol, biodiesel and other plant-based alternatives into vehicles. Now the proposal for rewriting it has invited public feedback on an array of changes to the mandate. This could lead to a shift from one narrow focus on gasoline, diesel and other liquid fuels to a broad aim at decarbonising transportation.
The proposal said that the measure “will set the stage for further growth and development of low-carbon biofuels in the coming years”. During the transition, “maintaining stable fuel supplies and refining assets will continue to be important to achieving our nation’s energy and economic goals as well as providing consistent investments in a skilled and growing workforce.”
EV firms taking subsidies are facing stricter auditing
The department of heavy industries has increased the audits of all-electric vehicle manufacturers taking the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) subsidies.
This step was taken considering a high number of complaints received regarding the violation of localisation criteria and quality norms. According to the report, disbursement of subsidies was also slowed down to ensure compliance with localisation criteria and to greater scrutiny. Subsidies of about Rs 500-600 crores have been put on hold by the department of heavy industries and certain companies could be asked to return subsidies received in the past. However, a decision was yet to be taken by the government.
Switzerland’s proposed emergency measures to tackle energy shortage includes limits on EV use
Switzerland, which depends heavily on imported energy from France and Germany, is in the process of putting together emergency responses for possible energy shortages during the winter. Far from a blanket ban on EVs, as has been reported in several places on the internet, the draft emergency measures includes limitations on EV use in the the third stage of the four-stage proposal. “The private use of electric cars is only permitted for absolutely necessary journeys (e.g. exercising one’s profession, shopping, visiting the doctor, attending religious events, attending court appointments),” the draft reads.