Union Minister Prakash Javadekar
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar
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The heavy industries and public enterprises ministry will soon convene a stakeholder meeting to discuss ways for fast-track growth of the automobile industry, including e-vehicles, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

He also said with the development of NATRAX (National Automotive Test Tracks) Indore facility, domestic vehicles will no longer need to be sent abroad for testing.

Now many countries which do not have this kind of facilities will send their vehicles to India instead of Europe or the US because the 11.3-km high speed track at Indore is the fifth largest in the world, but largest in Asia and more equipped than facilities in China and Japan, the minister said.

"We will arrange a stakeholder dialogue very soon to think about both the topics -- further acceleration for high growth of the automobile industry and what is the way forward for fast tracking and fast growth of e-vehicles," the Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises said while inaugurating the Indore facility.

Javadekar added that many ideas are floating around on e-vehicles and there are newer solutions coming up, "so we will hold stakeholder consultation in both the areas very soon".

Speaking at the event, former Mahindra and Mahindra MD Pawan Goenka said in spite of the central and state governments' initiatives to facilitate transition to e-vehicles, it is happening at a very slow pace and there is a need for stakeholder consultation to fast-track the transition.

"We cannot afford the slow pace at which the transition is happening today," he said.

Goenka also said the auto industry today in India is bruised as even before the pandemic, it was almost stagnant for five years.

Again, there is a need for a stakeholder meeting to see what needs to be done to get the industry back on the growth path as the industry is important for economic growth.

Since the launch of the Automotive Mission Plan (AMP) 2016-26, he said, a lot has changed and "I would request the department that with the help of industry and experts, you revisit that plan and come out with a new plan for 2026 with an aim of doubling the auto industry size, doubling employment , doubling tax revenue and creating lot of exports for India".

Further talking about NATRAX Indore, Secretary in the heavy industries ministry Arun Goel said this is a centre of excellence for vehicle dynamics.

The high speed track shall carry out development and homologation tests for all kinds of vehicles including maximum speed of 375 km/hr, he said adding a wide variety of tests can be done like maximum speed, brake performance, constant fuel consumption, emission test, high speed handling and durability testing.

The track can be used for testing high end cars and for racing also.

Project NATRAX is being built under NATRiP (National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project) of the Heavy Industries Ministry. NATRAX is one of the automotive testing and certification centres in India.

The NATRAX centre has multiple test capabilities like measurements of maximum speed, acceleration, constant speed fuel consumption, emission tests through real road driving simulation, high speed handling and stability evaluation during manoeuvres such as lane change, high speed durability testing, a statement by Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises said.

Foreign OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will be looking at NATRAX high speed track for the development of prototype cars for Indian conditions . At present, foreign OEMs go to their respective high speed track abroad for high speed test requirements.

It is one stop solution for all sorts of high speed performance tests and can cater to the widest category of vehicles -- from two wheelers to the heaviest tractor trailers.

Vehicles can achieve a maximum speed of 375 kmph on curves with steering control. It is also one of the safest test tracks globally, the ministry said.

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