Electric Mobility ambition of India needs to be tempered with a practical approach and what is possible without needlessly disrupting the automotive industry, said Rajan Wadhera, President, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
“Today, the automotive industry 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 cr. 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 Two-wheelers by 2025. This seems to be impractical as well as untimely,” said Wadhera.
The automobile industry’s turnover in India is close to half of the manufacturing GDP, supports 37 million jobs and contributes 11 percent of the GST revenues of the country.
“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. Such unrealistic expectations and policies would only adversely affect the world No 1 two/three-wheeler industry but may not help in making EVs acceptable to the customer and the market,” he further said.
“None of the stakeholders in the country – industry, Government nor the suppliers has any meaningful experience of EVs to even contemplate a complete 100% shift to 2/3 W 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 auto industry and spell a big blow to the overall ecosystem of auto component manufacturers, with its related impact on employment,” Wadhera pointed out.
SIAM said that a well laid out roadmap for an ambitious EV rollout over a practical timeframe along with an integrated plan for setting up the necessary infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country, in consultation with all stakeholders is the need of the hour.