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Plea in Delhi HC wants fuel cell electric vehicles to be included in Centre’s electric mobility plan

The plea has sought court's direction to the government to expand the scope and ambit of the FAME India Phase II scheme and extend and encompass the hydrogen energy infrastructure.

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At a time when electric vehicles are gaining all attention, a plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court to expand the scope of Centre’s FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles in India) Scheme thereby including fuel cell electric vehicles which use hydrogen as a fuel.

The plea, filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar, is likely to come up for hearing before a division bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh on Friday.

The plea states that the FAME India Scheme aims at encouraging domestic manufacture of electric vehicles and to promote and create a market for electric vehicles in India.

The plea added that the scheme encourages a systematic adoption of e-mobility and promote the infrastructure requirements for electric vehicles. However, electric vehicles are not limited to those vehicles which are exclusively operated by battery but also include fuel cell electric vehicles which are operated using hydrogen as fuel.

“The National Mission for Electric Mobility which conceptualized the FAME India schemes specifically intended to address concerns of a gradual shift in the global automobile industry to technologically efficient and alternative fuels including electric vehicles,” the plea said while adding that there are no provisions for extending support under the FAME India Phase II scheme to develop an alternative fuel electric vehicle technology like a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

“….till 10th February, 2021 the Government of India had disbursed only about Rs 20 crore for setting up of electric vehicle charging stations out of a combined budget of Rs 300 crore in 2019-2020 and Rs 400 crore in 2020-2021 for the said purpose,” it said.

The plea has sought court’s direction to the government to expand the scope and ambit of the FAME India Phase II scheme and extend and encompass the hydrogen energy infrastructure.

The petitioner has also sought court’s direction to the goverment to allocate a part of the unutilized funds from the FAME India Phase II Scheme for promoting and incentivizing demand for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and construction and operation of hydrogen refueling stations.

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