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Last Modified: Fri, Sep 07 2018. 09 22 PM IST

PM Modi promises smooth road for electric vehicles

India will do whatever it takes to usher in electric mobility in a big way , says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI.
Gireesh Chandra Prasad

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday promised global technology and automobile companies a stable policy regime to make India a pioneer in electric mobility.

Addressing industry executives at Move’, a global summit in the capital organised by policy think tank NITI Aayog, Modi said that India will do whatever it takes to usher in electric mobility in a big way as it holds immense promise for economic growth and ease of living.

“We want to drive investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to electric vehicle manufacturing. We will soon put in place a stable policy framework for electric and alternate fuel powered vehicles. Policies will be designed as a win-win for all and will enable huge opportunities in the automotive sector, “ Modi told industry leaders.

India wants to create a robust and affordable electric mobility ecosystem comprising production facilities and a large network of charging points to achieve three key strategic goals—cutting down carbon emissions, creating new job opportunities and reduce use of crude oil, about 80% of the requirement of which is met through imports.

Modi’s assurance comes in the wake of flip flops in India’s electric mobility goals. Though never articulated as a formal policy statement, India originally had the ambition of having all new vehicles on Indian roads powered by electricity by 2030. This, however, has been scaled down to 15% of total vehicle sales in the next five years.

“Having 15% of the automobile market powered by electricity in five years is a realistic and achievable target. In the transition period, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas will also play an important role as autofuel, “ said Debasish Mishra, partner at Deloitte India.

Earlier in the day, Modi met executives from electric vehicle manufacturers, battery makers and technology firms at an exhibition of their new offerings in the capital.

Many businesses including state owned fuel retailer Indian Oil Corp. Ltd and Power producer NTPC Ltd have ventured into setting up charging stations to tap opportunities arising from a transition to electric mobility. One key challenge to realising the goal of electric mobility is the high cost of batteries which policy makers hope will come down with new technology and economy of scale.

Modi said India has doubled the pace of building highways and is connecting more towns with new air routes. “Let us create a template for the world to adopt,” Modi said.

Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra group, who spoke on the occasion, said mobile applications that offer shared and connected multimodal transport options between long distances will change the way people live.

Topics: electric vehicleselectric vehicle policyclean energygreen energypollution

First Published: Fri, Sep 07 2018. 01 11 PM IST

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