Infra worries dampen auto cos otherwise keen on electric cars

Infra worries dampen auto cos otherwise keen on electric cars

Mumbai: Even as auto-majors are gearing up to launch electric vehicles, a few auto majors question whether India’s infrastructure is ready for the zero emission cars.

“Let the infrastructure be ready...we should invest more in infrastructure before launching electric cars in the country," Fiat India’s president and chief executive officer, Rajeev Kapoor, told PTI.

“It is good we are keen to drive an eco-friendly car, but we forget that there has to be the necessary infrastructure...the Government has to do more to develop infrastructure," he said, calling for a change in the mindset of people towards zero emission vehicles.

US car-maker General Motors also echoed the same view, saying the country has to have the necessary infrastructure to support an electric car.

“The Government has to come out with a new policy for electric vehicles so that car-makers will be able to reduce their prices and also launch more models," GM India’s vice-president, P Balendran, said, adding “it is a pity that when auto-majors gearing-up to launch electric vehicles in India, the infrastructure is still inadequate to support it."

Balendran said General Motors is ready to launch the vehicle in the country, but was concerned about the available infrastructure.

“We are ready to showcase our vehicle, but we are waiting for the infrastructure (to be enhanced)," he said.

A few other auto-majors are also understood to be eager to launch zero emission vehicles in country.

Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles has recently launched its Revai priced at 3.10 lakh (ex-showroom Pune) and is targeting tripling its sales to 3,600 units in the next 12-18 months.

Betting big on its electric car, the company is setting up a new plant with 30,000 units per annum capacity in Bangalore that would go on-stream by June next year.

“We understand the infrastructure problem in the country. We need public infrastructure for charging the vehicle’s battery. But this is the right time to motivate people to drive the zero emission vehicle," Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles’ chief operating officer, R Chandramouli, said, adding “we are setting up local charging points in the cities to solve the problem."

The company has joined hands with an Anil Ambani Group company, BSES, in Delhi to use its charging ports. “We need the Government’s support for this electric vehicle," he said.

Japanese car-maker Toyota too said that India has to develop the infrastructure to support this technology.

“Unless, we have good roads, electricity and parking slots, the demand for zero emission vehicles will never increase in the country," Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s deputy managing director (Marketing), Sandeep Singh, said.

“Builders and the Government should make arrangements for charger stations when they build apartments. Besides, the vehicles have to be very competitively priced," he said.