Ministry of Power Current Affairs - 2020

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.

National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the setting up of National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will be the head the steering committee.

Mandate of the Mission

  • The Mission will recommend and drive the strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes for Electric Vehicles and its Components and Batteries.
  • The National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage will determine the contours of Phased Manufacturing Program (PMP) which will be launched to localize production across the entire EV value chain.
  • The Mission will finalise the value addition that can be achieved with each phase of localisation with a clear Make in India strategy for the electric vehicle components as well as battery.
  • The Mission will coordinate with key stakeholders in Ministries/ Departments and the states to integrate various initiatives to transform mobility in India.

Impact of the Mission

  • The Mission will boost mobility solutions that will bring in significant benefits to the industry, economy and country.
  • These solutions proposed by the Mission will help improve air quality in cities along with reducing India’s oil import dependence and enhance the uptake of renewable energy and storage solutions.
  • The Mission will lay down the strategy and roadmap which will enable India to leverage upon its size and scale to develop a competitive domestic manufacturing ecosystem for electric mobility.
  • The Mission will promote ‘Ease of Living’ and enhance the quality of life of our citizens and also provide employment opportunities through ‘Make-in-India’ across a range of skillsets.

The other members of the steering committee headed by the Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant are Secretaries from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Power, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Heavy Industry, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, and Director General, Bureau of Industrial Standards.