‘FAME biggest kickstarter for electric vehicle industry’

Bengaluru, Dec 21 (IANS) The Indian government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme is the biggest kickstarter for Indian electric vehicle industry, said a top industry executive on Monday.

“One is the most important things being FAME incentive that was announced by the government in April of this year, where they allocated Rs.800 crore to various categories of improving electric mobility in India,” said Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles CEO Arvind Matthew.

Speaking at a press conference organised to mark the completion of a 5,400 km electric car expedition from Kashmir to Kanyakumari featuring Mahindra Reva’s electric car e2o, he said FAME goes a long way by incentivising existing electric cars.

According to the scheme, initiated by the heavy industries and public enterprises ministry,eco-friendly vehicles ranging from two-wheelers to buses can avail monetary incentives between a minimum of Rs.1,800 for a two-wheeler to a maximum of Rs.66,00,000 for a bus.

Matthew said the expedition sought to dispel myths surrounding electric vehicles as the industry is small and questions raised about their performance and capabilities.

“We have proven that these three cars that started off on November 16 from Srinagar and ended up on December 16 in Kanyakumari after travelling 5,400 km in 30 days have proven that a lot of myths about electric vehicles have been dispelled,” he said.

Featuring three electric Mahindra e2o cars, the expedition touched 27 Indian cities which also included Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kochi among others to demonstrate the reliability and advantages of electric vehicles.

Mahindra Reva sales and marketing head Jagan Kurian said setting up sufficient charging stations is the key for large adoption of electric vehicles anywhere.

“We (Mahindra Reva) have installed 300 charging stations across the eight cities we operate in. However, the government should also step in and ramp up infrastructure to propel electric vehicle industry in India,” he said.

A fully charged Mahindra e20 only has a range of 120 km, requiring the electric vehicle to break journey for charging again.

Nearly 50 percent of the 5,500 electric vehicles sold by Mahindra found buyers in Bengaluru, making it their biggest market.

Mahindra Group acquired a majority stake in Reva Electric Car Company in May 2010 to rebrand it as Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, headquartered in Bengaluru.

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