Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways recently attended Amazon’s Smbhav Summit virtually. The minister spoke at length about the use of alternate or flex-fuels in automobiles to reduce the dependence on oil imports. He also elaborated that he is in touch with manufacturers and has been urging them to develop engines with this technology. It may be noted here that TVS Motor Company is the only one in India to have a flex-fuel vehicle in the form of the TVS Apache RTR200 eFI ready. The vehicle can run on a blend of ethanol and petrol thereby reducing the consumption of the latter. Not only this, Gadkari made an important statement when he said, “India is moving ahead towards making electric vehicles. In due course of time we will be the number one electric vehicle (EV) maker in the world. All reputed brands are present in India.”
This statement has definitely lifted the spirits of the EV industry in India. There are many unorganised as well as organised ones that hawk their wares here. Another statement made by Gadkari to this effect seems to hint at what is in store for the Indian EV industry. He was quoted as saying
India has got tremendous capability for making green power... Within six months, I am confident that we will be in a position to make 100% lithium-ion battery in India, there is no shortage of lithium,
The biggest impediment in manufacturing an electric vehicle locally is that batteries still have to be imported. Making a battery in India is a huge chore and now even the most organised players still have to import them. With Gadkari being so upbeat about this entire scenario, the prices of the EVs are set to go down as usually the cost of an electric vehicle is bloated because of the imported batteries. Express Drives contacted a few electric vehicle manufacturers to understand their sentiments on this. Here’s what they said.
Naveen Munjal, MD said,
The Indian EV sector over the last few years has witnessed tremendous growth thanks to industry-friendly policies by both the central and state governments. Consumer sentiment for EVs currently is at an all-time high leading towards a stronger adoption for a cleaner mode of transport, not only in Tier I markets but also Tier II and Tier III cities. As the Hon’ble Union Minister Nitin Gadkari rightly said, the impact of importing crude oil on our economy will only increase over the next few years and there is an immediate need to adopt better and cleaner solutions. As market leaders, Hero’s efforts have always revolved around making Electric Two-Wheelers more accessible to the consumer. Hero Electric offers its consumers over 12 different vehicle models to choose from for every kind of need and are priced competitively to be more affordable than any other in the market today. Localization of manufacturing an EV will only lead to a further drop in prices, including battery cells. The time is right for the industry and the government to work together on policy and infrastructure front to accelerate the adoption of EVs
Jeetender Sharma, MD and founder at Okinawa said,
We are thrilled to see that the government has been actively working towards to its vision to make India the No. 1 EV manufacturing hub in the world. With the government's many initiatives to make India self-reliant in the area of e-mobility, we believe that India can manufacture lithium-ion batteries independently in the nation in the next 6 months. We as a company are also planning to set up our own battery manufacturing unit this year and have been taking steps to support the government's vision. From introducing a toll-free number pan India to create awareness around electric vehicles to making sure that we provide end-to-end services to every individual. With the steady government support, we expect India to move towards to the 100 % localisation of EV components in India by end of this year.
Harsh Vardhan Didwania, co-founder and director said,
The electric two-wheeler market in India is emerging on account of increased government policies supporting battery-powered vehicles, the growing awareness toward the environment, increasing petrol prices, and stringent emission norms. We are thankful to the govt. of India for his encouraging words and providing able support to this industry. We at EeVe India are committed to providing an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative (in form of smart electric scooters) to the commuters at large in society. In line with the hon'ble transport minister, we have been working towards our increased manufacturing capacity of producing 2.5 lakh vehicles by end of the year 2021-22. Very soon we will touch the production capacity of 1 million, which will be the biggest of its kind from the entire eastern part of the country. Intelligent vehicles will revolutionize our commuting experience in the future and EeVe stands at the cusp of this exciting reality with various products in the pipeline in both low & high-speed categories.
Anmol Bohre, co-founder said
We support the narrative of the government to push to make Indian a leading global EV manufacturer. The consumer is smart and cognizant of the fact that the metal quality, charge cycle, and charge retention capacity are the factors for consumers to decide on a vehicle. EV’s are bound to drive the growth of the economy in the days to come, and with an aptly placed ecosystem the brands would be able to provide a better proposition for the modern consumers’ - *Anmol Bohre, co-founder, Enigma Automobiles
Inderveer Singh, founder and CEO said
We are thankful to Shri Gadkari ji for his concerted efforts, towards creating well thought-through policies, that are helping accelerate India in becoming the largest Electric Vehicle market in the world. Localisation of manufacturing EVs will drive economic growth and will also provide cost benefits to the customers. With the industry players and government coming together, we believe India will move towards 100% localization of EVs soon. Evage is setting up Asia’s 1st Microfactory which will usher in a new era of decentralised and sustainable manufacturing. Our Microfactories will address the mobility needs of each region and while localization is our core focus we have ensured global manufacturing standards in line with Shri Gadkari ji’s vision of making global standard EVs.
We have reached out to other major electric vehicle players in India like Tata Motors, MG Motors. At the time of writing this story, their responses are yet to reach us.
With inputs from PTI
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