New Delhi: China’s Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy Ltd plans to set up an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Punjab, attracted by India’s plan to switch to electric vehicles by 2030.
The first such manufacturing unit by an overseas firm in India comes amid plans to run electric cars and buses in Amritsar, followed by Jalandhar and Ludhiana. Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy manufactures lithium-ion batteries.
“Chinese PSU (public sector unit) major Yinlong has proposed to launch a pilot project to run electric cars and buses in Amritsar, followed by the smart cities of Jalandhar and Ludhiana, and to set up an electrical vehicle manufacturing facility in the state," Punjab chief minister’s office said in a late evening statement on Monday.
The announcement was made after a meeting between Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh and Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy Co.’s India chief executive Alex Li.
State-run Chinese firms are increasingly looking at entering India or expanding their presence in the country. Mint reported on 20 June about China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd and China Datang Corp., looking to buy Indian companies in the engineering, procurement, construction and power generation space respectively.
“The scheme is proposed to be launched on the lines of similar schemes already implemented in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh under a lease model, which enables revenue generation through sale of tickets on commercial electric vehicles," the statement added.
The central government is working on an ambitious plan for a mass scale shift to electric vehicles by 2030 so that all vehicles on Indian roads by then—both personal and commercial—are powered by electricity. As part of this plan, it is also exploring a strategy of buying electric vehicles in bulk and then leasing them to companies such as taxi aggregators, in an attempt to bring down the cost of such vehicles.
“Chinese PSU Yinlong had several proposals for the Punjab government and manufacturing electric vehicles was one of them. We have asked them to submit a proposal and extended all kinds of help with processes, land acquisition, etc," Raveen Thukral, media advisor to chief minister Singh, said in an interview.
In its three-year action agenda document released in April, NITI Aayog has made a case for putting more EVs on the road. Also, the draft national energy policy by the government’s top think tank states: “The two most significant consumer needs (after lighting), transportation and cooking, will be the first candidates for inter-play of market forces, which will be reinforced by technological advancements in areas of electric vehicles and induction cooking."