When Maruti Suzuki gives out a statement, the entire auto industry sits up and takes notes. Today, at the annual integrated report, Maruti Suzuki Chairman, RC Bhargava, said that he is aware that large resources are now being deployed for technology development will lead to lowering the cost of EVs and reducing dependence on Lithium, procurement of which poses some strategic issues of national importance. The time frame for all of this to happen is not certain but meanwhile, the need to reduce the import of oil and harmful emissions is still there. In this case, he pointed that CNG as a fuel for smaller cars has been adopted well and the government too has recognised the importance of the same. He further said that hybrid cars too will reduce the fuel imports as these boast a good fuel economy. Emissions too are lower with hybrid cars and this is something that MSIL engineers are working upon.
Bhargava also added that these two technologies, coupled with biofuels, give the country a means of moving towards the final goal of net zero-emission. The use of hydrogen is also an interesting alternative and should be considered especially to reduce dependence on importing Lithium. The partnership with Toyota will bring in hybrid technology that MSIL can use. On current market situation, Bhargava, said “In March 2021 we were quite optimistic about the outlook for FY2021-22. The suddenness and ferocity of the second wave of the pandemic was a surprise to all, and led to lockdowns and restrictions in most parts of the country. Q1 sales were limited at 353,600 units. The performance in the next three quarters largely depends on how effectively all our citizens follow the government’s advice to get vaccinated and observe safety protocols. If we can avert the third wave, or substantially reduce its effect, and there are no further waves, economic activities and sale of cars can improve significantly over what was achieved last year.”
Kenichi Ayukawa, the MD and CEO of MSIL said that in the CAFE regulations, MSIL car fleet had the lowest CO2 emissions. He added that for further reduction in CO2 emissions, the company is adopting a mix of powertrain technologies based on electrification and CNG. SMC, in its recent mid-term plan, indicated to offer relevant products such as Utility Vehicles (UV) to strengthen MSIL’s product line-up, promote the penetration of hybrids and introduce EVs. There is also the bit wherein for the conservation of natural resources and environment protection, the company promotes initiatives across the value chain. Key initiatives include increasing use of solar power for manufacturing cars, increasing use of railway logistics for vehicle dispatches, optimisation of raw material usage through 3R techniques, water conservation in manufacturing and vehicle servicing, waste management and controlling the use of Substances of Concern.
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