In a complete contrast to Niti Aayog’s plan to phase out fossil fuel vehicles, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said that India can not afford to ban petrol and diesel vehicles.
Pradhan further said that the country is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and it would very difficult to manage without these resources. In response to reporters queries whether the govt has any deadline for the ban of fossil fuel vehicles, he said that “there is no ban and India cannot afford to do that”.
He further emphasised that nor is there any word from the government or NITI Aayog that they would ban petrol and diesel fuel vehicles. “EV is our priority, but so is piped natural gas, compressed natural gas and BS-VI fuel”, he further told ET.
The move will provide respite to automakers and oil companies, who opposed to the govt earlier decision.
Automakers had opposed the Niti Aayog proposal to the sale of only electric three-wheelers from April 2023, electric two-wheelers below 150cc from April 2025 and electric cars commercial usage from April 2026, calling it impractical and penury to the industry since sales have slowed down.
Interestingly, the statement by Oil Minister also outlines no consensus between govt different ministries on promoting electric vehicles.
The statement from the minister has come at a time when the NITI Aayog has been emphasising that it’s laying out a plan to allow only electric vehicles sale after 2030. The policy think-tank believes that a move to allow only EVs will expand the scope of the clean fuel technology beyond two-and three-wheelers in the country.
A joint study by NITI Aayog outlined that India can save about 64% of anticipated road-based mobility-related energy demand and 37% of carbon emissions in 2030 by continuing with shared and electric mobility.
India is currently 83% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.