NEW DELHI: The Centre's FAME scheme to promote eco-friendly vehicles have ended up pushing "mild diesel hybrid cars" instead of electric or strong hybrid ones, a CSE analysis has found.
"Around 95 per cent of all four-wheeled vehicles sold under this programme have been mild diesel hybrid versions; a mere 3 per cent have been strong hybrids and 2 per cent, electric cars," it says.
In a diesel mild hybrid vehicle the role of an electric motor is minimal while in the strong variants the electric motor propels the vehicle the entire time it runs, allowing significant fuel and emissions saving.
Anumita Roychowdhury, who heads research and advocacy at CSE, explained mild hybrids are only seven to 15 per cent more fuel-efficient than comparable conventional diesel models.
"This forgoes the benefits of improving fuel efficiency that can be as high as 32 per cent in the case of plug-in hybrid cars and 68 per cent for fully electric models," she said.
The government had launched the FAME scheme in April 2015. Under it, incentives are offered on purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles. The incentive of up to Rs 29,000 for bikes and Rs 1.38 lakh for cars are given.
The scheme has since been in a pilot phase, and a nation-wide roll-out is scheduled from April 1.
In 2015-16, of Rs 70 crore spent on incentives -- Rs 40 crore, or 57 per cent -- was spent on diesel mild hybrids, the CSE analysis says.
According to the data submitted by the Department of Heavy Industries to the Lok Sabha, of the incentives given under the FAME programme, 81 per cent have gone to cars and 19 per cent to two-wheelers."Of the cars, 57 per cent are mild diesel hybrids. Only 14 per cent are electric vehicles," CSE claims.