India’s automobile sector should consider adopting various technology approaches for clean and zero emissions mobility, a senior government official said on Thursday.
“We should consider various technologies approaches for clean mobility and zero emissions including the concept of battery swapping… open infrastructure for charging,” NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said at the 57th SIAM Annual Convention 2017 held here.
Kant pointed out that ‘research, innovation and development’ need to take place in India for ‘large scale’ battery production, EV component manufacturing and charging infrastructure creation to face the ‘disruption’ of mass electric vehicles (EVs) adoption in the country.
“The conventional regulatory policies in the automobile sector so far have been incremental and gradual,” Kant observed. “However, the recent decisions like leapfrogging to BS-VI emission norms, 100 per cent electric vehicles by 2030, methanol economy and fuel efficiency norms are transformational and will have fundamental impact on entire automotive ecosystem without any transitional phase.”
He also called upon the automobile industry to formulate and suggest an overall policy for EVs promotion. According to Kant, low per capita car ownership in India will prove to be advantageous for mass adoption of EVs.
At present, India has a low per capita car ownership of 20 vehicles per 1,000 citizens in comparison to 800 vehicles per 1,000 citizens in the US and 85 per 1,000 citizens in China.
“Low per capita car ownership which uses internal combustion engine gives India unique opportunity to pursue a different growth model in this sector,” Kant said.
“While other countries struggle to replace their large (internal combustion engines powered) vehicle fleets with EVs… India would not be required to do so.”
However, he stated that for mass scale EV adoption and to make India a base for EV manufacturing, challenges such as indigenous battery production and creation of charging infrastructure need to be met. Kant added that India’s automotive industry played a crucial role in the country’s growth.