Govt must put in place a clear policy for electric vehicles: Renault
New Delhi: The government has to put in place a clear policy and get infrastructure ready to enable automobile manufacturers prepare for the proposed switch to electric vehicles, according to French car major Renault.
Moreover, in order to fight pollution successfully, old cars need to be phased out for electric cars to give the desired result, Renault India MD Sumit Sawhney said. “Electric is the future. It is inevitable...the question is what is going to be the timing,” he said when asked about Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s message to auto industry to prepare for alternative fuels else he would ‘bulldoze’ them.
Sawhney, however, said it is critical to know the timeline for the planned switch to electric vehicles. “If they (government) want it to come fast, then they need to start creating infrastructure, clear policy, ecosystem and then you need to move towards that direction,” he added.
Highlighting the need to phase out old polluting vehicles, he said: “You can’t have electric cars and also 25- year-old cars, which are creating pollution. That is why, in order to create future, you need to take care of the past as well.” When asked if the company was prepared to launch electric vehicles in India, he said: “We have cars in global portfolio but for the Indian market we need to adapt them to the local conditions. We have our R&D centre and that should not be a problem.” However, before that there has to be a policy on electric vehicles so that the industry is clear about the road-map, Sawhney added.
When asked if there were any changes in the company’s plans due to frequent changes in policy related to auto sector, he replied in the negative stating Renault would continue with its plan to launch a new model every year in India.
On GST, Sawhney lamented the frequent changes related to auto sector saying “non-stability of policies is something which is not good”. “We had huge deliberations before the launch of GST and cess and then within 45 days of launch, we are again talking about changing the cess and redefining definition of luxury. For me any car which is more than 4 meters is not luxury,” Sawhney said.
He further said: “All seven seaters are not luxury cars, some of them are people movers for common man. So I clearly look forward to more stable policies.”
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