Governance

No buyers for e-cars in govt departments, Centre extends deadline

So far, only 652 vehicles have been deployed when the target was 10,000, said Union Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy RK Singh in the Lok Sabha

 
By Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Thursday 25 July 2019
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

The Centre has extended the deadline for deploying 10,000 electric cars by governments across the country by a year to January 31, 2020, owing to lack of demand. 

These e-cars were to be sold to government departments or given to them on lease to replace the existing fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles. But, six months have passed since the original deadline  (January 31, 2019) and only 652 e-cars have been deployed despite the fact that all 10,000 have been procured.

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of public sector undertakings under the Ministry of Power, concluded the procurement process of 10,000 e-cars under the National E-Mobility Programme, which launched on March, 7, 2018, said Union Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy RK Singh, while responding to a question asked by BJP MP Locket Chatterjee, on July 25, 2019.

So far, Andhra Pradesh has taken the most e-cars under the scheme (280), followed by Delhi that has 256 e-cars. Also, 295 alternate current and 161 direct current captive chargers have been installed under the programme.

Only nine states/Union territories — Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh — have shown interest in replacing their diesel and petrol fleet with these e-cars till now.

Since the demand for e-cars has been less than the government had estimated, the deadline has been extended for another year, admitted Singh.

The Centre has been pushing for e-vehicles for a few years now. In 2015, the government launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme with the outlay of Rs 795 crore. Subsequent, it launched FAME phase II on April 1, 2019 with the total outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.

In her maiden Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced several policy measures to make e-vehicles more popular including income tax benefit on loan taken to purchase e-vehicles.

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