One of the objectives of the government's FAME scheme is that the country's public transport should be 100 per cent electric. What are challenges to achieve this over-ambitious goal? Discuss.
FAME India scheme which aims for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid and Electric vehicles is an initiative of the current government which was introduced in 2015. It is about to complete its pilot phase and the second phase of the same is set to be launched after March 2018. While incentives and subsidies were given for opting to e- mobility during the first phase, the second phase is going to focus mostly on the transformation of Public transport into 100 percent electric.
The phase 2 aims to launch electric mobility in the form of electric buses, electric three-wheelers and electric shared cabs for multimodal public transport. Achieving a 100 percent transformation with zero emissions helps reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels there by boosting the country’s BoP but, this clearly seems very ambitious. Some of the challenges FAME face are,
- The funds to be provided by the government. The total outlay of the scheme is estimated to cost around Rs. 14,000 crore and the government has sanctioned only Rs. 795 crore till date.
- The lack of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. Although government spared Rs. 40 crore for the installation of charging infrastructure, very few charging stations popped up across the country. Lack of proper charging infrastructure would be a trouble when public transport becomes 100% electric.
- The burden of incentives for using hybrid vehicles to be provided by the government on the exchequer. The government plans to offer an incentive of Rs.75 lakhs to Rs.1 crore for bus, Rs.1.24 lakh for a taxi and Rs.37,000 to Rs.61,000 for three wheelers.
- The orders for the incentives-which are no match to the actual demand needs to be placed before February end 2018.
- The failure of mild hybrid vehicles show case that the project FAME could go wrong if not properly implemented.