Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday that public transport must be the cornerstone of India’s mobility initiatives and that the NDA government will soon bring in a policy regime for electric mobility.
Speaking at the Global Mobility Summit, MOVE, organised by Niti Aayog, Modi pitched for investments in manufacturing of electric vehicles and smart charging facilities and said that mobility is a key driver of the economy that can boost economic growth and create employment opportunities.
“We will soon put in place a stable policy-regime around electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. Policies will be designed as a win-win for all, and enable huge opportunities in the automotive sector…India’s business leaders and manufacturers are now poised to develop and deploy break-through battery technology. The Indian Space Research Organisation uses one of the best battery systems to run satellites in space. Other institutions can partner with ISRO to develop cost-effective and efficient battery systems for electric cars,” he said.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had said in February this year that there is no need for an electric vehicles policy and that actions plans are enough to boost electric mobility. This after he said earlier that an electric vehicle policy was in the offing.
On Friday, Modi asserted that the government would come out with a policy to promote electric vehicles.
The government has already kept a low Goods and Service Tax rate of 12 per cent on electric vehicles. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is preparing non-fiscal measures to ensure that at least 15% vehicles in the country are electric vehicles in five years.
“Mobility is a key driver of the economy. 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….Public Transport must be the cornerstone of our mobility initiatives. New business models driven by digitization, are re-inventing the current paradigm,” he said. “Big Data is enabling smarter decision-making by better understanding our patterns and needs. Our focus must also go beyond cars, to other vehicles such as scooters and rickshaws. Large segments of the developing world depend on these vehicles for mobility.”
Modi emphasized that the future of mobility in India should be on 7 Cs: Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge. Stressing the need to widely use common public transport to drive mobility initiatives, Modi said that focus must also go beyond cars to other vehicles. “We must leverage the full potential for vehicle pooling to improve private vehicle utilization…We should champion the idea of clean kilometers,” 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. he said.
To promote electric usage of electric vehicles, global equipment major ABB on Friday unveiled at the summit its fast-charging system, which can power batteries of a car in eight minutes to run up to 200 km.
“A few months ago, at the Hanover industry fair in Germany, ABB launched a new record-breaking, new Terra High Power EV charger, which is able to deliver enough charge in just eight minutes to power an electric car for 200 kilometers. The company has brought one of these fast-chargers to this event,” ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said.
Japanese auto major Suzuki Motor Corporation plans to start road tests of its electric vehicles (EVs) in India next month as a precursor to launch of EV in 2020, its chairman Osamu Suzuki said Friday.
Suzuki said the company has decided to launch EV in India around 2020 in cooperation with Toyota Motor Corporation. It will commence production of lithium-ion batteries, used in electric-vehicles, at its Gujarat plant in 2020. “I am pleased to announce today that we will start road running test using fleet of 50 EV prototype vehicles in India from next month for developing safe and easy-to-use EV for Indian customers in line with Indian climatic and traffic conditions,” Suzuki said at the summit.
Toyota Motor Corporation CEO Takeshi Uchiyamada said the company will make efforts for electrification of its vehicles in India, for which it is working with Suzuki to introduce EVs in the country. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Chairman Anand Mahindra suggested creating a universal application, a digital platform encompassing multi-modal mobility under a public-private partnership run by an autonomous body.