Indian auto industry is not too happy with the aggressive road map being laid
out by the government in bringing electric vehicles into the country. Both the
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and the Auto Component
Manufacturers Association (ACMA) along with two wheeler leaders like Venu
Srinivasan of TVS and Rajiv Bajaj of Bajaj Auto have cautioned against this
government target for electric vehicles in the country.
The Automotive Industry fully supports an
ambitious aspiration of the Niti Aayog in bringing in Electric Mobility in the
country as soon as possible. India is an aspiring Nation and keen not only to
catch up with the world but to go beyond in the field of EVs. However, the
ambition needs to be tempered with a practical approach and what is possible
without needlessly disrupting the automotive industry, cautioned Rajan Wadhera,
automotive industry, today, is facing multiple challenges of leapfrogging to BS
VI emission norms, complying with many new safety norms etc., in the shortest
time-frame ever attempted in the world. This is engaging the focused attention
of the industry and involving huge investments of the order of Rs.
70,000-80,000 crore. Even before this investment is recovered, as per media
reports, Government is proposing to ban sales of ICE based three wheelers
within a short time frame of 2023 and to ban sales of less than 150 cc 2
wheelers by 2025. This seems to be impractical as well as untimely, said
automotive industry, specially the two/three-wheeler segment supports a large
number of component suppliers in the small and medium sector, who are the real
backbone of the auto industry. None of the stakeholders in the country –
industry, Government nor the suppliers have any meaningful experience of EVs to
even contemplate a complete 100% shift to 2/3 W EVs by 2023/2025, pointed out
the apex body representing the interest of the Auto component manufacturing
industry in India said that though it is committed to support the Government of
India’s intent of ushering in electric mobility in the country, it could be
highly disruptive for the auto component industry if the Government fast tracks
the rolling-in of e-mobility for two-wheelers and three wheelers – hundred
percent e-three wheelers by 2023 and hundred percent e-two wheelers below 150cc
on the need for a calibrated roll-out of e-mobility in the country, especially
for the two and three wheelers segments, Ram Venkataramani, President ACMA
mentioned, “ The auto component industry in India is facing one of the severest
challenges at this juncture, while on one hand it is faced with the daunting
task of meeting the stringent deadlines of transitioning from BSIV to BSVI and
a host of safety norms, on the other, poor vehicle sales for close to a year
now has the industry worried. It is to be noted that India is the only country
in the world to have by-passed a generation of technology as its commitment to
produce vehicles with better emissions.”
Industry leaders speak out
Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj
Auto , in a statement said that, “On the reported initiative of the
Government of India mandating 100% EVs for sale of 3W by 2023 and 2W by 2025, I
completely agree with the spirit of this initiative in that India must
demonstrate a pioneer rather than laggard mindset. However I have 3 execution related
concerns. First that it may be impractical to target such a scale when none of
the stakeholders currently possess any meaningful experience with any of the
pieces of the EV puzzle. Secondly that it's ill-timed to target a date so close
to BS6 implementation. And finally, to target two and three wheelers but not
cars etc makes it an incomplete initiative. “
appropriate middle path to my mind would be in the first phase to target such a
changeover through Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFÉ) norms / electric
vehicles for all vehicle categories from a particular date such as 2023 or 2025
starting with the most polluted cities of India. Basis the learnings from that
experience a collective plan can be put together to scale up as desired”, he
Venu Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Motor
Company, said that “Automakers everywhere are supportive of the overall
goal of introducing electric vehicles (EV) and easing consumers into electric
a result we have been doing serious development work to ensure we can offer a
mass market EV product that delivers on safety and high performance. This is
necessary to co-opt consumers into making a switch, so it’s driven by consumer
willingness and, therefore, adopted easily and widely. The supporting infrastructure
for charging also needs to be as robust as conventional fuel options.
auto industry globally is still a long way away from all of this, as is India.
force an unrealistic deadline for mass adoption of electric two and three
wheelers, will not just create consumer discontent, it risks derailing
auto-manufacturing in India that supports 4 million jobs.
need gradual and seamless adoption of EVs to avoid such collateral damage and
ensure our technology-driven disruption is positive and lasting”.
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