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Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM
Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM

Golden opportunity to create domestic supply chain for EVs: SIAM president

  • Wadhera said that EVs represent an area wherein India can take a global lead as the technology is at its nascent stages
  • Wadhera reiterated Modi government’s vision of making India a global player in electrification of vehicles and set up a robust domestic supply chain

Mumbai: The reboot in vehicle manufacturing, supply chain and retail triggered by the covid-19 pandemic is a golden opportunity to create local supply chain for electric vehicles in India, Rajan Wadhera, president, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) said while speaking at Mint’s Pivot or Perish webinar on Thursday.

“It is a golden opportunity to create local supply chain in India, offer incentives and encourage research and development (R&D) in EV technologies. It is the time where we can move from manufacturing to R&D and product development and leverage the benefit of using common parts across several cars," said Wadhera adding that it is possible for the EV component manufacturers will get the opportunity to develop parts, which are common across platforms.

Wadhera said that EVs represent an area wherein India can take a global lead as the technology is at its nascent stages.

“It’s going to be an advantage for our country to leapfrog several years ahead of others," Wadhera said pointing at the government’s intent to create energy security for India and reduce dependency on oil imports.

“As a result, I think the electric vehicle or EV technology will continue to see the push," he added.

However, he expressed his concerns over low oil prices posing as a pertinent challenge for original equipment manufacturers or OEMs to invest in EVs as a business case.

“With oil prices so low, there is no business case for EVs. I think the build up is going to take lot of time. Nevertheless, I do see a place for EVs becoming a mainstream technology," he added.

Wadhera reiterated Modi government’s vision of making India a global player in electrification of vehicles and set up a robust domestic supply chain.

“I think this is an area to indulge in, getting the stimulus and going ahead with it," he said.

RC Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, however, believes that electrification in passenger cars would not play a major role anytime soon.

“I don’t see electrification in passenger cars in the near future because of the affordability factor, primarily," he said.

He added that he expects buses to be electrified sooner.

Vikram Kirloskar, president, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and vice-chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor expects to see more electrification in two- and three-wheelers as well as the city buses plying for public transportation.

“Good prospects of electric mobility in India in the long term remain. That will depend heavily on how we supply energy and its storage capacity. However, oil prices continuing to be down will be a challenge to EVs," Kirloskar said.

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