Yes! You heard it right. Indian Government rethinks on all-electric vehicles by 2030 sending a confusing message to the auto industry.
Earlier the Minister for Transportation said that the automakers should be ready to switch over to all electrical vehicles for transportation by the year 2030. This was also reconfirmed by the then Power Minister, Piyush Goyal. In fact the Indian government has already ordered for 10,000 electric cars to be used by various ministries and part of the order has already been delivered by the Tata Motors.
After so much sound bites, Indian Government appears to have a second look on all-electric vehicles target by 2030. Banul Supriyo, the Minister of State for Heavy Industry in his reply in Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of parliament made a statement that there are no plans to make all vehicles run on electricity in India by 2030.
The Minsiter’s statement in the Rajya Sabha was;
“There are, at present, no plans under consideration of the Department of Heavy Industry to make all vehicles in the country powered by electricity by 2030.”
It may be noted that after governments earlier messages many automakers in India were gearing up themselves to launch electric vehicles in the country. The top car sellers, Maruti Suzuki has commissioned a study to understand buyers preference for electric vehicles. It has also signed a MoU with Toyota in February 2017 to share R&D and technology which included electric and hybrid vehicles. The company is also setting up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant at Gujarat under an agreement with Denso, a Toyota group part maker company. Other automakers like Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra as well as the two wheeler manufacturers have also started gearing up to draw ambitious plans to launch their new electric vehicles.
However, after government’s initial announcement to go fully electric by 2030, some manufacturers have shown their apprehensions to the possibility of achieving the target by 2030. Many termed it as impracticable. It also needs a big network of battery charging stations and other infrastructure in the country to go for all electric vehicles. Mercedes Benz India’s representative, Roland Folger made a statement that the electric vehicles will be more polluting than the Bharat Stage 6 emission norms if the cars are run on electricity charging from the polluting coal based power plants. He pointed that unless the government produces clean energy such an idea will not result in the desired result to control emission. Toyota suggested that in place of going fully for electric vehicles, India should gradually adapt to hybrid cars and then switch to all electric.
The pollution in northern Indian states, especially NCR is already impacting the life of the people severely. Therefore, the emission control needs to be the top most priority of the government. Switching to electric vehicles is one of the measures to control pollution. China has recently banned few top cars including 553 inefficient ones to reduce vehicular pollution and is also promoting electric vehicles.
Let us keep our fingers crossed till the government comes out with clear policy for electric vehicles. Else the confusion will be counterproductive to the industries and the country as well.
Also read at India Autoz: