NEW DELHI: The Centre plans to scrap cash incentives currently offered to buyers of electric cars despite having incentivised these clean fuel technologies till just a few months back. The move, experts said, will further dampen sales of private electric cars.
Policy-makers justified the move, saying the government has now decided to give cash subsidies to electric vehicles used by shared-mobility operators such as Ola and Uber, “as their vehicles will run much more than private cars”.
Official sources said the government seeks to withdraw the cash incentives for private electric cars because it neither makes a “substantial difference in promoting sales nor serves the purpose of a clean environment”.
Currently, the government offers a discount of up to Rs 1.3 lakh on an electric car as part of its clean-energy programme, FAME (faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles). This is being proposed to be removed in the new FAME Phase 2 draft policy drawn up by the heavy industries ministry.
While the inaugural FAME scheme had a budget of under Rs 1,000 crore, the ministry has proposed to raise it to over Rs 9,000 crore in the second phase. “The real utility of electric vehicles is in public transport. How much are the private cars driven?” asked an official.