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Micromax to pilot e-vehicles, introduces lithium batteries for e-rickshaws, e-autos


Handset maker Micromax, which also manufactures LED TV and tablets, is planning to take a leap into electric vehicles and battery manufacturing segment, according to an ET report.

The report added the company will soon begin the testing for the e-vehicles and has also got approvals for its lithium battery categories. Its lithium batteries for e-rickshaws and e-autos are already in the market.

Micromax also plans to cater to electric two and three-wheeler categories. 

The consumer durables maker is taking a plunge into the completely new category as it witnesses a sharp drop in mobile phones business, owing to decreasing profit and rising competition.  

However, it sees a big opportunity in the new category which is catered by only a few players such as Bajaj Auto, Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS and Piaggio Ape.

Micromax is buoyed by the government’s fiscal and other incentives for electric vehicles under the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme.

The scheme may include waiving of registration and road tax on the sale of electric vehicles. Besides, the government is also considering duty waivers and incentives for manufacturers.

It is important to note that though the government claims to have immense plans to introduce electric vehicles on Indian roads, there is a dearth of policy for electric vehicles manufacturers.

Govt’s EV stands still unclear

In August last year, Union minister Piyush Goyal envisaged an ambitious plan to turn India into an all-electric-vehicles country by 2030.

Later in January 2018, the government moved away from its previous statements. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo said there were no plans under consideration of the Department of Heavy Industry to power all vehicles in the country with electricity by 2030.

In February, the government further cleared its position, making a swift U-turn from previous announcements, as it decided against formulating an electric vehicles (EVs) policy.

In the wake of the confusing signals, automobile makers such as Hero Electric, Okinawa Scooters, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors and industry body Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) then demanded further clarity and assurance from the government on the electric vehicle’s policy.

The industry body sought more subsidy on electric two-wheelers – currently fixed at up to Rs 22,000. They wanted the government to spend the entire subsidy amount over two or three years rather than five or six years.

SMEV also demanded the second part of the FAME (subsidy) scheme be implemented immediately, from April, as the existing version of the scheme, if continued, would be meaningless.

It believed that electricity-powered vehicles are the way forward and not hybrid ones, and the government should focus on promoting electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers along with public transport buses in the next few years.

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