Free Press Journal

EV policy in pipeline: Prime Minister Narendra Modi


Modi bats for investments in vehicle production, charging facilities

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that his government will soon issue a policy on electric vehicles and those based on alternative fuels.

“We will soon put in place a stable policy on electric vehicles and other alternative vehicles. We will do whatever it takes because it is our commitment to heritage and our future generations. India has inherent strength and comparative advantage. We have fewer vehicles per capita than other economies. We do not carry the legacy of other economies which were built on private car ownership,” the prime minister added. Modi pitched for investments in manufacturing of electric vehicles and smart charging facilities as he emphasised that better mobility can boost growth.

Asserting that mobility powered by clean energy is the most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change, he said the focus must go beyond cars to other vehicles such as scooters and rickshaws.

“Congestion-free mobility is critical to check the economic and environmental costs of congestion,” he said addressing the Global Mobility Summit ‘MOVE’ here.

Noting that mobility is a key driver of the economy, the Prime Minister said better mobility reduces the burden of travel and transportation and can boost economic growth.

“It is already a major employer and can create the next generation of jobs,” he said.

Common public transport must be the cornerstone of mobility initiatives, Modi said, adding that “clean mobility powered by clean energy is our most powerful weapon in our fight against climate change”.

With CEOs of global auto majors in attendance, Modi said the government is keen on “investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to electric vehicle manufacturing”.

The government is targeting electric vehicles to account for 15 per cent of all vehicles sales in five years in a bid to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. An estimated 2,000 electric vehicles were sold last year. “My vision for the future of mobility in India is based on 7 Cs — Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting Edge,” he said.

While stressing on the need to widely use common public transport to drive mobility initiatives, the Prime Minister said the focus must also go beyond cars to other vehicles. “We must leverage the full potential for vehicle pooling to improve private vehicle utilisation… Convenient mobility means safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of the society,” he said. It must be ensured that public transport is preferred to private modes of travel as it would result in fewer traffic jams and lower levels of stress for commuters, Modi said.

“We should champion the idea of ‘clean kilometres’,” he said.

According to him, Indian entrepreneurs and manufacturers are now poised to develop and deploy break-through battery technology that would mean a pollution-free clean drive, leading to clean air and better living standards for people.

“Charged mobility is the way forward,” he said.

Connected mobility implies integration of geographies as well as modes of transport. The Internet-enabled connected sharing economy is emerging as the fulcrum of mobility, the Prime Minister said.

Listing out his government’s initiatives, Modi said the pace of construction of highways has doubled, rural road-building programme re-energised, fuel efficient and cleaner fuel vehicles are being promoted and low-cost air connectivity in under-served regions is being developed.

“Indeed, India is on the MOVE: Our economy is on the MOVE. We are the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Our cities and towns are on the MOVE. We are building 100 smart cities. Our infrastructure is on the MOVE. We are speedily building roads, airports, rail lines and ports,” he said.

Switching to e-bikes to help India save 1.2L-cr

New Delhi: India can save about Rs 1.2 lakh crore of forex outgo towards oil imports every year by adopting a policy regime to promote electric two-wheelers, a report by Niti Aayog has said. India has a lot to gain by converting its internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs at the earliest, the report titled ‘Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs): Towards A Policy Framework’ suggested.

India has over 170 million two-wheelers, the report said, adding that if each of these vehicles consumes about half a litre of petrol per day, the total amount of petrol used by such vehicles works out to be about 34 billion litres.

“At Rs 70 per litre, this would cost about Rs 2.4 lakh crore. Even if we assume that 50 per cent of this is the cost of imported crude (as tax and other may be 50 per cent), one may save Rs 1.2 lakh crore worth of imported oil,” the report said.