TVS Motor Company and Bajaj Auto, two of the leading two-wheeler manufacturers in India termed any move that bans internal combustion engine two-wheelers and three-wheelers in order for a complete switchover to EVs by 2025 as 'unrealistic' and 'ill-timed'. And that any such move could potentially result in the derailment of the automobile manufacturing in India. The comments from the manufacturers came in light of recent media reports stating that the Government is considering a proposal to ban internal combustion three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers less than 150cc by 2025.
SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), the auto industry body, has also advised the Government not to take a decision hastily and work out on a well-laid out plan which has a well-defined roadmap along with a practical deadline for the introduction of electric vehicles in India.
Rajiv Bajaj, the Managing director of Bajaj Auto said that said plan of the Government is impractical and ill-timed. He laid down three concerns related to the said proposal. First, he said that it is likely to be impractical targeting such a scale when none of the stakeholders currently possesses any meaningful experience with any of the pieces of the electric vehicle puzzle. Secondly, it is ill-timed to target such a date which is so close to BS-6 implementation. And finally, to target two and three wheelers but not cars etc makes it an incomplete initiative. Furthermore, he added that there should be a feasible middle path wherein, firstly, a changeover through corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) norms electric vehicles for all vehicle categories from a particular date such as 2023 or 2025 starting with the most polluted cities of India. A collective plan, based on the learning from this experience can be put together for further expansion he added.
Venu Srinivasan, TVS Motor Company Chairman said that in order to force an unrealistic deadline for the large scale adoption of electrified two and three-wheelers, is not only going to create discontent among customers but also posts a massive risk of derailing the Indian auto-manufacturing sector which currently provides jobs to 4 million people. He further added that for avoiding such potential damages, there is a need to adopt a gradual and seamless switchover to EVs.
Srinivasan added that TVS is currently doing serious development work in order to make sure that the company is able to offer a mass-market EV product that promises to offer safety and high performance. He said that it is required that consumers co-opt in making this switch and hence this process will be driven by their willingness which will result in easy and widespread adoption. In his statement, he highlighted that the automotive industry, in India as well as globally, is still quite a long way away from this. Industry chamber CII on Sunday said the government should carry out wider consultations before finalisation of goals and timelines for electric mobility.