Amitabh Kant: “It’s necessary for India to be a global producer of EV parts. We will be happy to partner ACMA to penetrate global markets.”

by Mayank Dhingra 04 Feb 2020

Amitabh Kant: “We will help industry with charging stations, batteries et al. The government is willing to partner ACMA and handhold it to penetrate global markets as we have done with ICE vehicles.”

Apex component industry body, the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) today hosted a ‘CEOs’ Roundtable Meet on Global Trends Impacting the Indian Automotive Industry’, in New Delhi. The chief guest was Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, who delivered the keynote speech. The roundtable meeting took place for the first time in India in the backdrop of the Automotive G-7 Meet and saw the presence of the heads of ACMA’s counterparts from the USA, Japan, EU, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

Here's what the NITI Aayog chief said in his kenote speech:

"Tomorrow's world will be that of shared, connected and zero emissions. A recent Morgan Stanley study says that India will be a key driver of these philosophies by 2042 because the process of urbanisation has just begun in India and we will urbanise more in the next five decades than the developed economies."

"India's transition to the world of electric mobility will be far smoother with its 28-to-1,000 car-to-people ratio compared to the US at 980. Hence, India will require far less disruption. Moreover, with operating costs of EVs being much lower compared to ICE vehicles and with 80 percent of the vehicles on Indian roads comprising two- and- three-wheelers, we will see a good uptick in their numbers."

"Electric vehicles such as new electric two-wheelers are being launched by manufacturers such as Bajaj Auto and TVS. The government has envisioned to completely electrify the two-wheeler segment by 2025-26. As long as we keep getting electric products in the Indian market, the car economy will be to keep shifting away from combustion vehicles. "

Lithium-ion battery prices are falling rapidly. They have gone down from $1100/kWh to $176/kWh, and are expected to go below $100/kWh by 2025. At that point, the cost of EV and combustion engine vehicles will almost be at par. We are pushing for creating an infrastructure which leads to charging of battery at the household level.  We should work towards becoming the global champions of manufacturing. We will soon be setting up Giga factories for mass-scale production of battery and packs. We aim to set up at least 5 Giga factories in the next five years.”

Citing examples of Indian companies and their CEOs making investments in EVs, such as Bharat Forge’s Baba Kalyani, Bajaj Auto’s Rajiv Bajaj and TVS Motor’s Venu Srinivasan, Kant said, that while keeping their bet on combustion vehicles, they are moving towards EV technology.

He further elaborated that a large part of the EV revolution in India and China will come from shared mobility. India will have 35 percent shared mobility market getting electrified by 2030, compared to China's 28 percent by the same time.

“With the government's enhanced target of renewable energy moving from the earlier 175G W our challenge is to push for rooftop solar panels to achieve the next target of 450GW of renewable energy.”

“From India's perspective, energy and trade security are extremely necessary. Our crude oil import bill stood at Rs 7,000 billion last year, which takes into account 80 percent of the total crude requirement of the country. Seventy percent of the diesel and 99.6 percent of the petrol is of this imported crude is consumed by automobiles. So, a shift is imperative.

“The auto component industry is a major driver of growth and job creation. Therefore, it's necessary for India to be a global producer of EV parts by transitioning from 2,000 parts to 20 parts. We will be happy to handhold ACMA in innovation as that is going to be a big challenge. We will help the industry in terms of charging stations, batteries et al. The government of India is willing to partner ACMA and handhold it to penetrate global markets as we have done with ICE vehicles.”