As the electric mobility ambitions of the Indian government pick up pace, the industry reactions and concerns of automakers have been causing a slowdown. NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar has reportedly said that the fear of auto manufacturers over electric vehicles are misplaced.
He emphasised that instead of seeing EVs as a threat, he urged the auto sector to grab the opportunity offered by this sunrise sector and emerge a global leader. He also said that in the Electric Mobility announcement they have not included cars and have have not given a date.
He added, “When we have said nothing as yet about four-wheelers and cars, it is a bit strange to constantly hear that the INR 60,000 Cr invested in shifting cars and other four-wheelers to BS VI and all this investment will go waste.”
NITI aayog has said that two-wheelers are mainly petrol driven and switching a petrol engine from BS IV to BS VI is actually not very expensive. “We want to nurture the auto industry. We should work together to make sure that they can maximise their exports. There are large numbers of countries out there — to which both component and finished cars can be exported,” Kumar added.
NITI Aayog had proposed that only electric vehicles should be sold in India by 2030. For this, it called for full electric transition for three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers with an engine capacity less than 150 CC by 2025. Kumar further questioned that how can such rules impact car sales, commercial vehicle sales and tractor sales.
He has further said that whether six-seven years are not long enough time to plan. “Six years from now whatever investments would have been made in switching two-wheelers to BS VI, will be fully recouped,” he said adding “industry should fix its own target to get a lead or pole position in the global markets in this category.”
He also expressed his disapproval on suggestions of auto industry that there should be no policy framework and no deadline fixed for switching to EVs for two- and three-wheelers.
Recently, Bajaj MD Rajiv Bajaj has said that the policies for electric vehicles has left the automobile industry jumping through many hoops to thanks to mixed signals. At the moment, the government is busy drafting an EV charging infrastructure framework. However, this is not even policy on paper yet, and no real action on the ground is not even on the horizon, and at the same time, the expectation is that the automobile manufacturers move their operations and product roadmap to a new technology platform.
Kumar has emphasised that the most important goal of pushing EVs is to boost “Make in India”, he said. “We have set up the clearest time path for domestic production. As we speak we are also coming up with a policy to set up mega-sized battery plants in India. We are working with the Bureau of Indian Standards for coming out with Indian standards for charging stations.”
This was also recently emphasised by NITI Aayog chief Amitabh Kant who said that the government is working heavily towards ensuring 30% e-mobility by 2030. This is because it doesn’t want to lose out on EV revolutions.
Kant said that, “We have lost out on the mobile revolution, photo-voltaic revolution, telecom equipment revolution. We are a nation of massive domestic demand, but all this demand we import. We will not allow that to happen in the EV world. We will ensure that India becomes a global hub for manufacturing and exports.”