Electric two-wheeler sales fell sharply in the April-June quarter, with only five manufacturers getting subsidies under a revamped government scheme to promote green mobility.
Phase two of the subsidy scheme-FAME-India (faster adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles in India)-has stricter localisation norms and is aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing of electric vehicles and components. The second phase, with an outlay of 10,000 crore, became effective from April 1 this yea r.
In the June quarter, only 1,700 electric two-wheelers manufactured under FAME-India were sold compared with 30,000 units in the corresponding period of the previous year, according to Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV). Ather Energy, Ampere, Okinawa, Jitendra Electric Vehicles, and Hero Electric are the five manufacturers which managed to get the eligibility certificate for the subsidy scheme, according to SMEV.
Under the first phase of the FAME-India scheme, 88 models of electric two-wheelers sold by 18 manufacturers were eligible for subsidy. A majority of these vehicles couldn't meet the new criteria and thus lost financial support from the government.
"(Sourcing) batteries was the biggest problem because nobody was making (lithium-ion) batteries in India. Now there are two or three manufacturers who are making batteries," said Sohinder Gill, chief executive of Hero Electric and director general of SMEV.
To receive subsidy under FAME-India, electric two-wheeler makers must source more than 50% of the components locally and then get eligibility certificates from vehicle testing agencies. The benefits are limited to vehicles equipped with lithium-ion batteries.
Meanwhile, data from the commerce ministry shows that import of electric two-wheelers in the June quarter more than doubled from the year-ago quarter to 2,170 units.
In the electric three- and four-wheeler categories, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions, and Saarthi have received eligibility certificates so far, as per SMEV.
Data on electric two-wheelers sold without the subsidy is not available.
An electric two-wheeler is eligible for a subsidy of 10,000 per kWh (kilo-watt-hour) of battery capacity. A sum of 2,000 crore has been earmarked in the FAME India scheme for supporting sale of a million electric two-wheelers by the end of March 2022.