EV hoopla takes new turn: Govt is uncertain over all electric fleet by 2030


India’s dream of having all-electric fleet by 2030 will may face hurdles in its path as the minister of state for heavy industries Babul Supriyo hints about uncertainty on such plans.

On Tuesday, Babul Supriyo said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, “There are, at present, no plans under consideration of the Department of Heavy Industry to make all vehicles in the country powered by electricity by 2030.

In August 2017, Union Minister Piyush Goyal announced that India will be moving to an all-electric car fleet by 2030 and the government under NITI Aayog is working on a roadmap to ensure all-electric car fleet in the country.

The response from Babul Supriyo is in complete contradiction to Goyal’s statement.

Electric Vehicles development in India and controversy

The government’s stern policy also met with strong criticism from the auto industry. Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz India MD Roland Folger urged the government not to rush with the all-electric vehicles push.

It suggested the government should consider better technological options as the rest of the world is racing to run on hydrogen and not electricity.

In November, objecting Niti Aayog proposal to appoint itself as the implementing agency for India’s EV Mission 2030, minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said that the cabinet should appoint anyone fit for the role.

Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava also opposed Nitin Gadkari claims to bulldoze automobile industry to pave way for pollution-free EVs saying that the government can’t kill the industry.

Car makers like Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and even Tata Motors have already begun their campaign as far as electric cars are concerned. Toyota and Suzuki signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will see both companies working together for introducing EVs in the Indian market by around 2020.

Last month, Tata Motors rolled out the first batch of the electric variant of its compact sedan Tigor from its Sanand facility in Gujarat. In September, Tata Motors won the first government contract (EESL) for supplying 10,000 electric variants of the Tigor, outbidding Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) in a contest for the Rs 1,120 crore order.

Since then, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) floated another tender in November to procure 10,000 electric cars.

Meanwhile, foreign car maker Audi has already said that it’s ready to bring in EVs into India as early as 2020 and Mercedes-Benz, JLR, BMW and even Volvo are drafting their respective EV strategies for India.

While some car makers have already changed gears as far as investments and strategies are concerned to meet the deadline, the latest statement adds another controversy to India’s all-electric dream by 2030.

The development was first reported by Mint.

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