India’s transportation architecture should be based on a combination of fuel sources, instead of focussing just on electric vehicles, government-run think tank NITI Aayog said recently. Doing that would give much-needed relief to the country’ automobile manufacturers, argued Aayog member V. K. Saraswat argued.
He said, “India’s transportation architecture would be based on three aspects—maturity of technology, cost-effective and how close it is to sustainability. Based on these, India will be rolling out its transportation design. It will be a mix of conventional internal combustion engines, electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and other evolving technologies.”
According to Saraswat, relying on just one form of fuel will be more of an impediment to the government’s green mobility push.
The NITI Aayog member further stated that switching to 100% electric power is not viable in India due to a number of reasons such as high cost of EV manufacturing and inadequate availability of raw materials needed for the production of lithium-ion batteries.
“Importing raw material for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles can’t be a substitute for importing crude oil. The idea is to reduce India’s import bill. If oil is replaced by lithium in imports, it beats the basic idea of reducing import costs for India,” added Saraswat.
Incidentally, the government-appointed think tank is currently pitching for methanol as a more efficient alternative to fossil fuels. As per reports, the Aayog, in its recommendations to the government, had stated that methanol-based hybrid vehicles would be powered by electricity generated on board from the chemical.