As the adoption of electric mobility across the country is still some years away, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) on Tuesday, through its white paper, urged the union government to encourage usage of alternate fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), methane, bio diesel and others to reduce dependence on imports of fossil fuel.
According to the lobby group, production of bio-fuels is still evolving in India, therefore technological collaboration from countries like the United States, Canada and Brazil would be relevant in India.
Besides production of bio- fuels, research will be required in the areas of combustion development, compatible material development, etc. While Industry will focus on the application development of vehicles, material compatibility studies academia will be required to work on combustion research, emission development, besides studies to check the environmental impact of fuels, the while paper mentioned.
The union government has already been urging vehicle manufacturer to produce vehicles that run on LNG and CNG and will also help in setting up 10,000 CNG stations in the next ten years. Public sector units like Gas Authotrity of India Ltd (GAIL) has been in talks with vehicle manufacturers across segments to supply LNG for their vehicles in different parts of the country.
“While electrification and hybridization of fleet will be required to lower the usage of fuel for automotive purposes, the National Objectives of Energy Security, lowering emissions can be supported by the augmentation and promotion of alternative fuels," the white paper notes.
Siam also voiced its support for the ‘one country one fuel specification’ policy of the Indian government. The lobby group is of the opinion that following ‘one country, one fuel specification’ norm, to ensure portability of vehicles, efficiencies of development of fuels and vehicles, subsidizing fuel production and distribution, besides funding the viability gap in case of high acquisition cost of technologies like LNG and others, would be the key.
The automobile manufacturers through the white paper asked for a 5% GST imposition on vehicles that would run on bio-fuels compared to 18% at present and viabilty gap funding (VGF) should be provided to reduce the high cost of technology. The automobile manufacturer also urged the government to reduce taxes on production and distribution infrastructure of alternate fuels in the coming years.