Constituent policy

Electric scooter politics scuttled by special interests: SMEV

The e-scooter industry is split over allegations of foul play to claim FAME-II (faster adoption and manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles in India) subsidies by a few original equipment manufacturers, officials said. industry leaders.

While the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has not approached the Centre, urging it to release FAME-II grants for member companies, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) has alleged that “criticism with vested interests were trying to get the most advanced electric two-wheeler companies out of the FAME-II grant program.

“All SIAM members have complied with FAME-II rules, and no discussion of frozen grants is held by SIAM as an organization,” said one of the people, seeking anonymity.

SIAM represents India’s largest traditional companies manufacturing internal combustion engine vehicles and new original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and startups in the electric vehicle segment. Additionally, the industry body is actively engaging with the government on new battery testing standards.

SMEV represents many electric mobility startups, including Ampere Vehicles, owned by Greaves Cotton, Kinetic Green Energy, Hero Electric, Tork Motors and Okinawa Autotech. It also counts electric three-wheeler companies and component suppliers among its members. Okinawa is also a new member of SIAM.

Under the aegis of the government 10,000 crore FAME-II scheme, cash grants of up to 15,000 batteries per kilowatt-hour are granted to manufacturers of electric vehicles that meet localization standards under the staged manufacturing program.

A slew of complaints alleging fraudulent grant applications by major electric two-wheeler OEMs Hero Electric and Okinawa have surfaced, Mint reported.

This led the Center to withdraw incentives for these manufacturers until the Ministry of Heavy Industries submits its investigation report to determine whether the companies did not meet the location criteria.

After petitioning the parliamentary standing committee on electric and hybrid mobility, SMEV sent a letter to the media earlier this week detailing ‘anonymous campaigns’ trying to shut down pioneering EV companies by flipping a once sympathetic regime. against these companies.

“Something strange is happening in the E-Mobility space. A wonderful, well-planned and almost well-executed policy hitherto has been suddenly put to the test – with premeditated disaster as the almost certain result. happened?” he said in the unsigned letter. “Normally, such anonymous campaigns (referring to whistleblower emails sent to the government) shouldn’t have shocked anyone. was retained.” “Obviously, this was not a campaign by some wet-behind-the-ears benefactor…it was a cabal acting in concert with special interest groups because, one by one, the insinuations began to pile up against startups. These are new players without the deep pockets of fuel-based scooter companies. They will collapse without subsidies. So an unusual situation has been created, where companies that serve government policy launching the e-scooter revolution are being squeezed out of the market by an anti-e-mobility political group.”

People in the know said Okinawa Autotech and Hero Electric were seeking to go to court to claim FAME-II grants that were passed on to customers but not repaid. SMEV said about 1,000 crores of arrears of subsidies had not been paid to the industry.

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