The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the apex industry association in the country, has joined SIAM in asking the government for a proper, well-aligned roadmap, formulated in consultation with industry stakeholders, before finalising of goals and timelines for electrification of vehicles in India. SIAM has it that the industry’s turnover is close to half of the country’s manufacturing GDP, supports 37 million jobs and contributes 11% of the GST revenues, while also supporting a host of manufacturing and services industries. Any policy decision in this regard will thus need to keep pace with the ground realities.
CII has called for multi-stakeholder consultations across the value chain with a special focus on affordability of consumers as India embarks on one of its strategic goals of transportation transition driven by energy choices. CII advocates a three-pronged strategy to make this transformational shift in transportation.
Vikram Kirloskar: “It will be constructive to allow multiple technologies as long as they are fuel efficient and meet standards of safety and quality.”
“Constructive disruptions driven by market forces coupled with enabling policies is the kernel of any innovation and we are hopeful that the same is adopted as India readies itself for the advent of new technologies in mobility including electric vehicles,” said Vikram Kirloskar, president, CII said. The government has recently announced a Mission on Transformation Mobility and Transmission to be led by NITI Aayog.
CII says it has engaged with stakeholders from various interlinked industries like renewable electricity and power, battery makers and auto manufacturers to create recommendations that will help India achieve its goals of lowering emissions and conform to commitments on climate change. “It is important to set the goals right and work towards them as we look at fuel efficiencies and choices for future mobility solutions. The processes of how we get there should be driven by market and industry, to get the best results for the nation,” the CII president said.
India’s need: a technology-agnostic approach
CII says one of the first strategies to adopt is to set the right goal from the macro perspective of carbon footprint and energy security. The target and timeline set to achieve the desired goal needs to be deliberated with diverse stakeholder consultations, at the initial phase, so that it is both sustainable and achievable.
Lauding the government for its globally much-acclaimed move to set up 175 GW in renewables by 2022, it will be important to take stakeholders along in setting the targets. CII also urges a technology-agnostic approach as the transportation sector is witnessing huge and transformative innovations both in vehicles and batteries. “It will be constructive to allow multiple technologies as long as they are fuel efficient and meet standards of safety and quality,” said Kirloskar.
The final strategy for making the transformative mobility mission effective revolves around affordability of customers, which will depend on market forces. Two-wheelers and three-wheelers are the preferred modes of transport in rural villages and towns where most of India resides and in 2018, the two-wheeler market breached the 21 million units mark for the first time.
CII says the government should take a close look at the growth in this segment and how it impacts household income. While motorcycles are used by small businessmen and farmers in rural areas, scooters are often used as family vehicles – more as a second two-wheeler by women or young adults in the families. Increased mobility in the rural belts is a sign of inclusive economic growth as it helps many bridge the rural-urban divide.
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