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Mild hybrids lose FAME subsidy

Mild hybrids were a quick fix for manufacturers to dip into the funds freed up under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India, also known to discount enthusiasts as the 'FAME' subsidy. The mild ones are slightly more efficient and less polluting than their petrol or diesel-sipping brethren, but way worse for the environment (and your wallet) compared to a real hybrid.

Cars that made the most hay while the sun shone were the Mahindra Scorpio Intelli-Hybrid, the Maruti Ciaz and Ertiga, with the diesel-engined, SHVS-equipped variants enjoying a subsidy of Rs 13,000. That subsidy has now been withdrawn.

More than half the cars that have been subsidised under the FAME scheme are mild hybrids, which defeats the whole point of a scheme like this. The idea of FAME was to encourage carmakers to invest in proper hybrid and fully-electric cars, and provide a helping hand to those who were just starting out with their 'mild' hybrids. Instead, a great chunk of that subsidy went to the ones building these not-really-hybrid hybrids, which would compel more manufacturers to jump into the mild hybrid fray instead of working on true environment-friendly solutions.

While this move may dissuade other car companies from trying their hand at building a mild hybrid, Maruti has made it clear that its cars will continue to sport the SHVS tech.

'We believe that mild hybrid technology is the first step towards full hybridisation. We will continue to provide value to customers through this (SHVS) technology. We do not expect any significant impact due to withdrawal of the FAME incentive', said Maruti in a statement.

A hike in price is never welcome but we guess it's okay, considering the Ciaz has just moved base to Nexa...

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