The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has said that targets set by the Government for electric vehicles (EV) should be ambitious, while remaining practical at the same time. SIAM noted that the automotive Industry fully supports the ambitious aspiration of the Niti Aayog in bringing in electric mobility in the country as soon as possible. India is said to be an aspiring nation and keen not only to catch up with the world but to go beyond in the field of EVs.
The automotive industry at present is facing multiple challenges of leapfrogging to BS VI emission norms, and complying with numerous new safety norms in the shortest time-frame ever attempted. This is engaging the focused attention of the industry and involving huge investments of the order of Rs 70,000-80,000 crore, the industry body said. It added that as per media reports, the Government is proposing to ban sales of internal combustion engine-based three-wheelers by 2023 and ban sales of two-wheelers under 150 cc by 2025. This seems to be impractical, as well as untimely, observed Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM.
Wadhera said that overall, the auto industry is perhaps the only real success story of India’s manufacturing. “It is imperative that this success story is not affected by undue haste in banning mature automotive technologies within the next 5-6 years in the hope that evolving EV technologies will fully replace the demand within that such a short period,” he added. Such unrealistic expectations and policies would adversely affect the top two and three-wheeler automotive industry, as well as may not help in making EVs acceptable to customers and the market, noted Wadhera.
In addition, the automotive industry, especially two and three-wheeler segments, support a large number of component suppliers in the small and medium sector, who are the backbone of the industry. SIAM said none of the stakeholders – industry, Government, suppliers, have any meaningful experience of EVs to contemplate a 100 % shift to two or three-wheeler EVs by 2023/2025. In the current scenario, any policy to accelerate the transition to EVS would lead to a policy-induced disruption, which could result in significant damage to the industry. It could also spell a big blow to the overall ecosystem of these MSMEs, with its related impact on employment, added Wadhera.
Wadhera further went on to say that a well laid-out roadmap for an ambitious EV rollout is required over a practical timeframe, along with an integrated plan for setting up the necessary infrastructure. He also said that the auto industry, under the aegis of SIAM will continue to closely partner with Government in ensuring a planned transformation towards EVs and to build the nation, sustainably.