Rest of Asia

India hopes to be No.1 manufacturing hub for electric vehicles, minister says

James Jose, Suneeti Ahuja Kohli/London
Filed on July 1, 2021
Photo: Twitter

Government planning to set up financial institution to fund business with focus on EVs, says Nitin Gadkari at India Global Forum.

Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Road, Transport and Highways, wants to make India the No.1 manufacturing hub for electric vehicles and said that the country can be a successful example to the world.

“India has been importing petroleum products and we are spending 800,000 crores. And because of that air pollution has become a huge problem in the country. So, we want to make India as the No.1 manufacturing hub of electric cars, electric buses, electric bikes, electric auto rickshaws and even electric trucks,” Gadkari said at the India Global Forum on Thursday.

“India will be a successful example for the world as far as EVs are concerned,” he added.

Gadkari revealed that they are relentlessly working towards that and trying to create a better ecosystem.

“We strongly believe that society should be liveable, workable and sustainable for all with an important focus on ethics, ecology and environment. India is also committed and progressing positively as per the Paris Climate Agreement. And that is very important as we aim to reduce carbon emission by 33 to 35 percent by 2030. On those lines, this e-vehicle policy is very, very important. Air pollution, water pollution and sound pollution are crucial problems. And so, it is our highest priority on how we can protect the health of the common man and give a sustainable life to them,” he explained.

And in an effort to speed up the drive towards an electric future, Gadkari, who is also the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said that the government is rolling out subsidies and incentives.

“Many organisations are doing a lot of work on it and now we have successfully started manufacturing e-vehicles. The government is encouraging them by giving special incentives for that. The GST on electric vehicles is very, very less as compared to petrol and diesel vehicles. It is 48 percent for petrol and diesel vehicles and here it is five percent,” said Gadkari.

“There is a huge market potential for EVs. India’s e-vehicle sector has been rapidly growing over the last three years as both the centre and the state governments have taken the initiative to promote the adoption of EVs. Many start-ups are providing e-bikes on rent to public and logistic companies. Amazon India has completely changed their fleet to electric. The government is planning to set up a financial institution to fund business with a focus on EVs and facilitate a new financial instrument for lending to public transport and commercial vehicle segments. We are very positive, supportive, flexible, time-bound and transparent towards ease of doing business in the EV eco-system.

“The comparative rates of diesel, petrol and gas as compared to electricity, is very negligible. It is import-substitute, cost-effective and pollution free. And from the maintenance point of view, it is also very cheaper. For example, the average expenditure for a diesel bus bus in Mumbai is Rs.115 (Dh6) per kilometre and for an electric air-conditioned bus, the expenditure is Rs.50 per kilometre. So, 100 per cent it is economically viable. Recently, the Delhi government incentivised EV by offering an additional subsidy of Rs.30,000 for e-two-wheelers and up to Rs.150,000 for e-cars. The total number of e-two-wheelers in India are about three lakh and the numbers are increasing rapidly. This can be easily charged at home, and they have a very low operational and maintenance cost,” the minister added.

Gadkari also said that India was keen on using green energy as a priority for EVs.

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