The central government is reportedly looking to tighten the corporate average fuel economy or 22 CAFE norms, which mandate automakers to manufacture cars that are 30% or more fuel efficient from 2022, and 10% or more between 2017 and 2021.\u00a0A draft proposal has been submitted by the ministry of road, transport, and highways to government think-tank Niti Aayog in this regard.\r\n\r\nThe changes in the 22 CAFE norms are expected to compel car and SUV makers to invest more in electric and hybrid vehicle technology. The norm, in effect since April 1, 2017, is in line with those in European countries, which many other countries are implementing now. \r\n\r\nIn another development in the Indian EV space, the government has proposed a grant of $152 Mn (INR 1,050 Cr) for setting up of over 4,200 EV charging points across select cities and highways. A nodal agency comprising state-owned power distribution companies, central PSUs, and municipal corporations is being formed to identify cities and highways for setting up of charging stations. \r\n\r\n\r\nWe bring all these developments to you in the 30th edition of Electric Vehicles This Week.\r\nImportant Developments In The Indian EV Ecosystem This Week\r\nGovernment To Set Up Nodal Agencies For Electric Vehicle Infra\r\nIn a move to set up a network of charging infrastructure, the government plans to appoint state-owned power distribution companies, central PSUs, and municipal corporations as nodal agencies. These agencies will identify locations to set up charging infrastructure in selected cities and on highways within a year and make it operational within a period of three years.\r\n\r\nThe government has proposed a grant of $152 Mn (INR 1,050 Cr) for setting up of over 4,200 EV charging points. According to the proposed policy, committees at central and state levels will identify the cities and highways, designate nodal implementing agencies, and monitor and review the implementation of the charging stations. \r\n\r\nEarlier in April, the power ministry had clarified that setting up EV charging stations would not require a separate licence under the Electricity Act of 2003. \r\nCentre Plans To Include Ola, Uber On The List Of EV Subsidy Beneficiaries\r\nThe central government has plans to scrap cash incentives currently offered to buyers of electric vehicles\u00a0and instead give cash subsidies to cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber EV drivers as it feels that "their vehicles will run much more than private cars," according to an\u00a0official familiar with the development.\r\n\r\nIncluding Ola and Uber on the list of subsidy beneficiaries would also encourage\u00a0these companies to introduce more electric vehicles on the roads. Last year, only around 1,500 passenger EVs were sold against petrol\/diesel\/CNG car sales of 32 lakh.\r\n\r\nCurrently, the government offers a discount of up to $1K (INR 1.3 lakh) on EVs as part of its clean-energy programme, FAME (faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles). There is a proposal to remove this in the new FAME Phase II draft policy.\r\nKABIL To Begin Hunt For Lithium From March 2019\r\nAs India aims to turn 30% of its vehicles battery-powered by 2030, a joint venture of three state-run companies formed earlier will become operational this financial year to source and acquire from overseas minerals such as lithium and cobalt, which are\u00a0required for EV manufacturing.\r\n\r\nIn September last year, a joint venture comprising Hindustan Copper Ltd, Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd, and National Aluminium Corporation Ltd had agreed to set up a joint venture named Khanij Bidesh India Ltd, or KABIL. \r\n\r\nNearly 80% of the world\u2019s resources of lithium is said to be locked up in nine deposits in the Andes, the US, China, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.\r\n\r\nThe joint secretary of the Ministry of Mines, Anil Kumar Nayak, said, \u201cThe joint venture will acquire assets abroad and do mining in collaboration with those countries... the government is also looking at a possibility of inviting domestic and overseas private players to collaborate with the joint venture.\u201d\r\nKerala Govt To Take Over BHEL EML To Tap Into EV Demand\r\nThe Kerala government is all set to tap into the demand for electric vehicles in the state by taking over the state-run Maharatna company BHEL's subsidiary\u00a0\u2014 BHEL Electrical Machines Ltd (EML). BHEL EML, a public-sector unit based in Kasaragod, Kerala, manufactures traction motors and control devices used in electric vehicles.\r\n\r\nA state-owned enterprise that executes states reform initiatives, the\u00a0Public Sector Restructuring and Internal Audit Board (RIAB) has been entrusted with the task of completing the deal formalities. A formal proposal has been submitted to the government for the takeover and the approval is expected soon after asset valuation.\r\n\r\nBHEL had a 51% equity and the Kerala government held the remaining 49% stake in the JV. The Kerala government recently allowed that BHEL would exit the JV. The company, with around 174 employees, suffered losses of around $881K (INR 6 Cr) in the last fiscal. Its cumulative losses are estimated to be $2.7 Mn (INR 18.7 Cr).\r\nGMDA Officials To Commute In EVs From July 1\r\nCome July 1, the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) officials will have to commute in electric vehicles. The GMDA has completed the tender process for EVs and 12 sedans with eco-friendly features\u00a0at a total cost of $217K (INR 1.5 Cr). The first lot of EVs will be commissioned by the EESL.\r\n\r\nAccording to GMDA CEO, V Uma Shankar, these EVs will have a maximum speed of 140kmph, but will run at an average speed of 50-60kmph. There will be eight charging stations for these vehicles across Gurugram, he added.\r\nGovt Officials Refuse To Use Mahindra, Tata Motors' EVs Citing Poor Performance\r\nSome central government officials have reportedly refused to use electric vehicles (EVs) developed by Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) and Tata Motors Ltd,\u00a0citing poor performance and low mileage.\r\n\r\nAccording to one of the officials, Mahindra\u2019s eVerito and Tata Motors\u2019 Tigor EVs fail to run even 80-82 km on a single charge within city limits. Their battery capacity of 17kW doesn\u2019t meet the global standard, which is 27-35kW.\r\n\r\nThe ministry of power rolled out electric vehicles by Mahindra and Tata Motors as part of the National E-Mobility Programme. The state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is responsible for procuring EVs under the programme.\r\nDevelopments Around The World\r\nXC40 To Be Volvo's First Full Electric Vehicle\r\nSwedish automaker Volvo has confirmed that the brand\u2019s first fully electric vehicle will be a version of the XC40, with the next-generation XC90 also gaining an EV version. This version of the EV will come after the company's electric sub-brand Polestar launches its second car and will be followed by an electric version of the XC90.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s not a secret any more that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming... it will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2... that is the first to come that\u2019s not exotic,\u201d Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath\u00a0said.\r\n\r\nVolvo has set a target for\u00a050% of its sales volume to include fully electric cars by 2025.\u00a0The Swedish car-maker, which is owned by Chinese giant Geely, has pledged to launch an electrified version of every model in its line-up from 2019. \r\nFaraday Future Raises $2 Bn To Bring Its EVs To Market\r\nUS-based electric vehicle startup Faraday Future has announced that it closed a $2 Bn financing from Evergrande Health, a Hong Kong-based holding company, to bring its electric vehicles to the market.\r\n\r\nThe startup plans to utilise the funds to expand its product pipeline, develop cutting-edge technologies, and grow the business rapidly in the global marketplace, including its manufacturing facilities in Hanford, California and in Guangzhou Nansha, Guangdong Province, China.\r\n\r\nWith a 130kWh battery pack configuration, FF claims that the FF91 will have 1050 horsepower. Last year, it also set a new \u201cproduction\u201d EV record at Pike\u2019s Peak \u2013 beating the previous year\u2019s Tesla P90D by more than 20 seconds.\r\nItaly Plans 1 Mn New EVs By 2022\r\nItaly\u2019s populist coalition has decided to increase the country\u2019s electric vehicle market by rolling out 1 Mn new EVs on its roads by 2022. The move is aimed at reducing gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles and give incentives to support the acquisition of electric and hybrid vehicles.\r\n\r\nThe EV announcement is the first official proposal to the country since the coalition partners (Five Star Movement and the League) were sworn into office earlier this month.\r\n\r\nAccording to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, Italians bought about 2,600 EVs last year. The number rose to 4,800 in plug-in hybrid models. Less than 5,000 fully electric models are estimated to be on Italy\u2019s roads today.\r\nHampshire Country Council Invests To Set Up EV Charging Stations\r\nThe Hampshire County Council in England has released undisclosed funding for district, borough, and town councils to fit EV charging stations across the county as it aims to cut carbon from 40-50% by 2025.\r\n\r\n\u201cOur electric vehicle programme remains focused on investing in facilities so that Hampshire residents can access environmentally friendly travel. This gives value for money both for motorists and the public purse,\u201d economic development chief councillor Mel Kendal said.\r\n\r\nAccording to Kendal, 25 public sector organisations have come forward to discuss options with the council. So far, eight charging points have been installed across the county for use by council staff, with 20 further installations planned.\r\n\r\nStay tuned for the next week edition of Electric Vehicles This Week.