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Electric Vehicles This Week: FAME II Strikes EV Sales, Xiaomi Bikes, More

Electric Vehicles This Week: FAME II Strikes EV Sales, Xiaomi Bikes, More

Sales of low-speed electric scooters overtake high-speed versions

Ather Energy to keep its focus on high-speed electric scooters

Toyota Factory in France has resumes its operations

Last year, the Indian government rolled out a new subsidy model under the phase II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME II) to boost sales of high-speed electric two-wheelers. But recent data on sales of electric vehicles (EVs) highlight that the attempt may not have been successful the way the government expected.

Overall, the EV industry has registered a 20% hike with the sale of 1.56 Lakh units. Out of which, electric two-wheelers make up for almost 97% of the sales with 1.52 Lakh units sold. Now, in the electric two-wheeler sections the low-speed e-scooters, which do not come under the FAME II policy, have overtaken the faster e-scooter market overwhelmingly.

According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), low-speed scooters constituted 90% of all the electric two-wheelers sold in the entire financial year. The trend was highlighted in the first half of the financial year 2020. While the sale of high-speed electric two-wheelers crashed by 94% to 3K, the market for low-speed electric two-wheelers remained consistent with 49K units.

Several industry leaders have highlighted that the FAME II policy has been giving the EV industry a hard time. With this policy, the cost of high-speed e-scooters has increased even with the subsidies, forcing customers to opt for less efficient low-cost versions, said SMEV.

Even, Hero Electric has previously said that FAME II policy has jeopardised the mass adoption of EVs. It believes that cost-effective electric vehicles are crucial for the industry’s growth.

Chart Of The Week: The Growth Of EV Segment By 2030

Commercial vehicles expected to dominate by 2030

EV News Of The Week

Ather To Keep Its Focus On High-Speed Scooters

Despite bleak sales of high-speed electric scooters, Bengaluru-based electric two-wheeler startup Ather has decided to keep its focus on the segment. The company believes turning to “low spec end of the market” would not be the right way to grow.

Ravneet Phokela, chief business officer, Ather Energy, added that the low-performance scooters make a significant chunk of sales because there is a lack of alternatives in the market. He added that the market will witness a transition with more brands emerging with their efficient and powerful models.

UK-Based Faradion Looks To Enter Indian Battery Market

UK-Based sodium-ion cell manufacturer Faradion is currently exploring manufacturing presence in India. The company claims that the sodium-ion battery technology is similar to the lithium-ion solution in terms of performance and conventional chemistries. However, the solution is said to be more cost-effective as it replaces expensive metals like cobalt and lithium with sodium.

James Quinn, CEO of Faradion, said, “We foresee India as our next big priority market, given the electric mobility market is waiting to grow rapidly.”

First vehicle powered by sodium-ion battery shown in UK - EDI ...
Faradion’s Sodium-Ion Cell

MG Motors Jumps To Help Frontline Workers

Automobile manufacturers have decided to supply over 100 Hector SUV to offer transportation services for frontline workers — doctors, medical staff, police, and local government officials — fighting Covid-19. It will also manage the fueling cost and the drivers for these vehicles. The vehicles will be supplied from MG Motor’s nationwide network of dealers.

The automobile maker has also assured that it will sanitise the vehicles at regular intervals, under its recently introduced ‘MG Disinfect and Deliver’ project.

EV Startup B:Live Raises Pre-Series A

Goa-based EV tourism startup B:Live has raised an undisclosed amount in Pre-Series A funding round from Mumbai Angels Network. The company plans to use this fund in order to improve existing technology, expand its marketing efforts, and build its customer experience. The company was founded by Samarth Kholkar and Sandeep Mukherjee in 2017.

EV Headlines From Around The World

Xiaomi’s Electric Scooter Costs Less Than Its Smartphone

This week, Xiaomi launched an electric scooter, 1S, in the Chinese market, the vehicle priced at CNY 1,999 (INR 21,700) costs half of Xiaomi Mi 10 smartphone. Weighing 12.5 Kg, 1S can carry up to 100 kgs. The scooter can go up to 30 Km in a single charge at a top speed of 25 Kmph.

Xiaomi Mijia Scooter 1S With 30km Range, 25kmph Top Speed Launched ...
Xiaomi’s Electric Scooter 1S

Toyota Factory Resumes Work In France

Though France has closed all non-essential businesses until May 11, the Toyota factory became the first car plant to reopen in the country. The government has allowed industrial producers to continue their operations as long as they are following protective measures. For now, the company is providing health and hygiene kits — face masks, sanitisers, gloves, pens, and more — to its employees to reduce the risk of contamination. Toyota is currently running limited operation, but looks to resume all operations from May 11.