April 11, 2019: Around 95% of India’s e-bike batteries will not attract subsidies under the government’s FAME-II regulations — because lead-acid batteries are no longer included and most e-bikes are fitted with them, following a ruling by the Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprise on March 28.
The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India was first launched in 2015 and named FAME-I. Under it, electric vehicles including scooters, cars, buses and three-wheelers attracted subsidies for not using internal combustion engines.
FAME-II removes electric vehicles with lead acid batteries from the subsidy qualification along with the Indian government’s push for lithium. However, most e-scooters use lead batteries as they are a much cheaper option.
FAME-II also requires e-scooters to have a minimum top speed of 40 kmph and a minimum range of 80km on a single charge. They must also conform to new clauses on energy consumption efficiency.
The regulation follows a report by research organization Credit Rating Information Services of India, which found that 90% of the beneficiaries of the FAME-I subsidy, which ran from April 2015 to the end of March 2019, were e-scooters.
The FAME-II subsidies amount to Rs10,000 crore ($150 million) to be implemented over three years.