Need to follow consistent EV policy, no need for company-specific sops: FICCI EV Committee Chair

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Electric Vehicle (EV) charging units are seen at a parking lot of Sobha city, a real estate property, in Gurugram, on October 27, 2023.

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging units are seen at a parking lot of Sobha city, a real estate property, in Gurugram, on October 27, 2023.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

The government should not dilute Make in India initiative and follow a consistent policy, Ficci EV Committee Chairperson Sulajja Firodia Motwani said amid a push from American electric carmaker Tesla for special sops to set up its factory in the country.

Ms. Motwani, the founder and CEO of Kinetic Green which sells battery-operated three-wheelers, scooters, e-cycles, and buggies, also emphasised creating a holistic ecosystem for the growth of the electric vehicle segment.

She also batted for the continuation of incentives for buying EVs to sustain the demand for the next few years.

Ms. Motwani also noted that the industry body is also pushing for the inclusion of electric cars priced up to ₹20 lakh to get incentives under the third iteration of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles (FAME) India scheme.

“I strongly feel that the Make in India policies that the government has put in place, there should not be any reversal because now people have started investing in local manufacturing,” Ms. Motwani told PTI in an interaction.

If not followed diligently, the manufacturers would again shift to importing components from other countries including China, she added.

When asked if U.S. carmaker Tesla should get policy support to enter the Indian market, Ms. Motwani said: “As far as the entry of some of the premium car makers like Tesla goes I don’t know the details about the proposal but I believe it’s linked to a large investment..But I still feel personally there should not be confusion and the policy should be consistent.

People should know that there is a policy in place and it needs to be followed, she noted.

“It shouldn’t be that one day you say that Make in India is important..and then you say that now duties are reduced. Policy should be long-term and consistent,” she said.

India should definitely focus on Make in India because that will only create long-term competitiveness, she noted.

“Otherwise, we’ll end up becoming a country where there are EV users but materials for their production are coming from other countries,” she added.

Ms. Motwani said FICCI has also proposed to the government to cover small electric cars for incentives under the FAME scheme.

“FICCI has already given its recommendations to the Heavy Industries ministry for the FAME 3 scheme and said that now we should also consider private cars because there is genuine interest in the public. We are proposing an incentive for cars up to ₹20 lakh only,” she noted.

The FAME India scheme, originally introduced on April 1, 2019, currently caters to public and commercial transport in the segments of electric three-wheelers, electric four-wheelers and electric buses.

The benefit of the incentive is also available to privately owned registered electric two-wheelers (e-2W).

Ms. Motwani stated that till the time battery prices come down considerably there is a need to continue with demand incentives for the next 3-5 years.

She noted that the time is now ripe to have deeper inter-ministerial dialogue regarding the EV segment.

“I think the time has come that we set up task forces in order to look at the next five years of ecosystem creation..assuming demand momentum is continued with demand incentives, then we need to also create an ecosystem with all the stakeholders involved,” Ms. Motwani said.

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