As the global automotive climate shifts towards clean and eco-friendly alternatives to internal combustion engines (ICE), the Indian Government also have been passing regulations and encouraging electric vehicles in the country. The recent cut in GST rates and the FAME II scheme hints at an imminent electric revolution that stands before the Indian automotive industry.
In light of slowing automotive sales in the country, auto giants have been addressing the government's lack of action towards resolving the issue. The auto industry has been opposing a proposal by Niti Aayog to push for full conversion to EVs for ICE three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers with engine capacity of 150cc or below by 2025, saying a transition was completely uncalled for and could jeopardise the industry.
However, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured that conventional engine vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs) can co-exist in India, saying it would encourage investment and job creation in future.
“. I would like to assure everyone that India has a large...market...big enough policy space to ensure growth of internal combustion engine (ICE) based automobiles...& electric vehicles (EVs). There is no need to speculate about the growth of either of the two.”@narendramodi— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) August 12, 2019
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President Rajan Wadhera said the assurance is completely in-line with SIAM's recommendations that all relevant technologies should co-exist in India's journey towards sustainable mobility. He also called for a long-term roadmap for all futuristic technologies, which instils confidence to the industry to get going.
Expressing similar views, TVS Motor Company Chairman Venu Srinivasan said, "the recent clarification by the Prime Minister that ICE and electric vehicles will both be encouraged and grow is a strong step to encourage investment and employment in the automotive sector in India. This will provide reassurance to millions of people across the supply chain, ranging from component manufacturers to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), dealers, mechanics and associated people across the country," he added.
Srinivasan further said that a technology-agnostic approach that encourages all options is very important for a developing country like India, which is dependent on fossil-based sources for much of its power. "Also with some of the other measures announced towards increasing liquidity, this clarification will provide the stability to ensure India continues to remain one of the leading investment destinations in the world," he said.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Joint Managing Director N Raja said the PM's statement has given a lot more confidence and clarity and will help the auto industry in efforts to come out of the ongoing sales slump. "Now with this clarity, people who were thinking of delaying purchases, what we called as fence-sitters, can come forward. It will help in improving the market," he said.
With inputs from PTI