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BusinessNitin Gadkari asks automakers to reduce EV cost

Nitin Gadkari asks automakers to reduce EV cost

Published: 6th Nov 2020 8:43 pm

New Delhi: Asserting that India has full potential to emerge as a global hub for electric vehicles by 2025, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday asked automobile manufacturers to reduce cost and forego profit initially to capture market and fuel growth.

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Once the market picks up there will not be any looking back, Road Transport and Highways and MSMEs Minister Gadkari said, promising all support to manufacturers in the initiative aimed at cutting India’s huge import costs of crude and arresting pollution.

The minister said he is scheduled to make an hour-long presentation on EVs before the Chief Justice of India post-Diwali. He was addressing a virtual “Electric Mobility Conference 2020 – The Spark Revolution in India” by industry body Ficci.

“E-mobility is going to be the future mode of economic transport.There is economic viability for manufacturers, but presently they are not in a mood to reduce cost. Reducing cost may result in some losses initially, but will bring great benefits. As a marketing strategy you have to reduce the cost to get numbers,” Gadkari said.

He also said that India has the potential to become the largest EV producer in the world in the next five years. However, Indian manufacturers prefer to wait and watch and are late in participating in any global competition.

“Now is the time to harbour the ambition to become number one… the raw material is available, power rates are reducing…you have a win-win situation,” he told carmakers. He also cautioned them to not to be entangled in bureaucratic tangles.

Globally automobile companies have introduced several innovations in the segment, he said. The minister admitted that significant EV-specific concerns persist like on batteries, charging, and driving range that prevent a large-scale consumer pull, but these issues being addressed rapidly.

He expressed concerns over the fact that India needs to import oil to cover over 80 per cent of its transport fuel, saying import of crude is a big economic problem. “Air pollution is a million-dollar problem. We need to find an integrated approach to it. Transport sector alone was responsible for 18 per cent energy demand and 70 per cent of it was met through imported crude oil,” Gadkari said.

Citing a Niti Aayog report the minister said India needs a minimum of 10 GWh of cells by 2022, which would need to be expanded to about 50 GWh by 2025. “Therefore, manufacturing these cells in India need to be encouraged,” he said.

The government is promoting two important measures to manage the EV charging load – renewable energy to charge electric vehicles, which will reduce the load on transmission and distribution network and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME II), he noted. Gadkari said the government is planning Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai e-highway to promote EVs.

 

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