Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles Current Affairs - 2019

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World’s First Electronic Flight takes off from Canada

The first fully electronic flight in the world completed its test flight successfully on December 10, 2019. The flight is to operate from Vancouver, Canada to the near by islands.

Highlights

The zero emission completely electronic flight proved that all-electric commercial aviation is possible. The electrical aircraft designed was a 6-seater sea plane that was retrofitted with an electric motor. The first flight lasted for 15 minutes. The electrical flight was designed by the company Harbor Air.

India also promotes and incentivizes the use of electric vehicles.

Promotion of Electric Vehicles in India

The Department of Heavy Industry is implementing FAME-India scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India) to increase the awareness and usage of electric vehicles. Till March 2019, GoI under the scheme supported 2.8 lakh hybrid vehicles by incentivizing around Rs 359 crores and saving 50 million litres of fuel and reducing 124 million kg of carbon dioxide.

The GST on Electric Vehicles were reduced to 5%. Also, Ministry of Power had recently allowed sale of electricity for charging electric vehicles. These moves have increased the investments in charging infrastructure.

Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles in India

Under Phase I of the FAME scheme around 500 charging stations have been sanctioned. Out of these 500, 230 charging stations were installed. The Department of Heavy Industry has expressed interest to get proposals for establishing 1000 charging stations.

Initiatives to promote e-vehicles

The following initiatives have been taken to promote e-vehicles in the country:

  • The government has granted an exemption to Battery Operated Transport Vehicles and Transport Vehicles running on Ethanol and Methanol fuels from the requirement of a permit.
  • The Ministry of the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has launched FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) to incentivize the production and promotion of eco-friendly vehicles including electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
  • To incentivise the development of charging infrastructure for e-vehicles the Ministry of Power has issued a policy statement on charging infrastructure and has issued a notification clarifying that charging electric vehicles will be a service, not a sale of electricity.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has agreed to commercialize indigenously developed lithium-ion battery technology and has selected 14 companies for transfer of technology.
  • The government think tank, NITI Aayog has taken an initiative to provide a Model Concessionaire Agreement (MCA) document for introducing Electric-Bus Fleet in Cities for Public Transportation on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode on Operational Expenditure (per km basis) Model rather than paying the upfront capital cost.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has made amendment in the Urban and Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) guidelines to provide for electric vehicle charging stations in private and commercial buildings.

The government of India even has a plan of converting the entire new fleet of vehicles to fully electric by 2030.