On the first day of the first MOVE Global Mobility Summit , the flagship NITI Aayog seminar which opened in New Delhi yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans to soon introduce a government policy designed around electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. He said, "Policies will be designed as a win-win for all, and enable huge opportunities in the automotive sector."
The MOVE Summit saw attendance from the who's who of the automotive industry, both vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. They included Suzuki Motor Corp chairman Osamu Suzuki; Toyota Motor Corp chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada; Chung Euisun, vice-chairman, Hyundai Motor Corp; Anand Mahindra, executive chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra; Guenter Butschek, CEO, Tata Motors; Volkman Denner, CEO, Bosch; Ulrich Speisshoffer, CEO, ABB; and Marcy Klevorn, president - Smart Mobility, Ford Motor Co, among others.
"The world is now in the middle of a new mobility revolution," said the prime minister. "Mobility is critical to preserving our planet. Road transport accounts for one fifth of global carbon dioxide emissions. This threatens to choke cities and raise global temperatures. Creating a mobility eco-system that is in sync with nature is the need of the hour."
"Mobility is the next frontier in our fight against climate change. Better mobility can provide for better jobs, smarter infrastructure, and improve the quality of life. It can also reduce costs, expand economic activity and protect the planet. Thus, the mobility sector impacts larger public outcomes," he added.
LEVERAGING OF DOMESTIC STRENGTHS
The prime minister called upon the domestic automotive industry to leverage Indian industrial strength.
"In a rapidly transforming mobility paradigm, India has some inherent strengths and comparative advantages. Our starting point is fresh. We have little of the legacy of resource-blind mobility. We have fewer vehicles per capita than other major economies. Thus, we do not carry much of the baggage of other economies that were built on the back of private car ownership. This gives us the window of opportunity to create an all-new, seamless mobility eco-system. On the technology front, our strengths lie in information technology, big data, digital payments, and the internet-enabled shared economy. These elements are increasingly becoming the drivers of the global future of mobility."
INDIA WELL PLACED TO BE EARLY MOVER IN MOBILITY ECONOMY
The prime minister, who said India is "best placed globally, to be an early mover in the ‘Mobility Economy’ outlined his vision for future mobility in India. He said it is based on 7 Cs – Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting-edge.
Common: Public transport must be the cornerstone of our mobility initiatives. New business models driven by digitization, are re-inventing the current paradigm. Big data is enabling smarter decision-making by better understanding our patterns and needs. Our focus must also go beyond cars, to other vehicles such as scooters and rickshaws. Large segments of the developing world depend on these vehicles for mobility.
Connected mobility: This mplies integration of geographies as well as modes of transport. The internet-enabled Connected Sharing Economy is emerging as the fulcrum of mobility. We must leverage the full potential for vehicle pooling and other innovative technical solutions to improve private vehicle utilisation. People from villages should be able to bring their produce to the cities with ease and efficiency.
Convenient mobility: Safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of the society. This includes the elderly, the women and the specially abled. We need to ensure that public transport is preferred to private modes of travel.
Congestion-free mobility: It is critical to check the economic and environment costs of congestion. Hence, there should be emphasis on ending bottlenecks of networks. This would result in fewer traffic jams and lower levels of stress for people travelling. It would also lead to greater efficiency in logistics and freight.
Charged mobility: Charged mobility is the way forward. We want to drive investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to Electric Vehicle manufacturing. India’s business leaders and manufacturers are now poised to develop and deploy break-through battery technology. The India Space Research Organization uses one of the best battery systems to run satellites in space. Other institutions can partner with ISRO to develop cost effective and efficient battery systems for electric cars. We want to build India as a driver in Electric Vehicles. We will soon put in place a stable policy-regime around electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. Policies will be designed as a win-win for all, and enable huge opportunities in the automotive sector.
Clean Mobility: Clean mobility powered by clean energy is our most powerful weapon in our fight against climate change. This means a pollution-free clean drive, leading to clean air and better living standards for our people. We should champion the idea of ‘clean kilometres’. This could be achieved through bio-fuels electric or solar charging. Electric vehicles in particular can complement our investments in renewable energy.
Cutting-edge: Mobility is like the Internet in its early days. It is cutting-edge. It is the next big innovation sector. The ‘Move Hack’ and ‘Pitch to Move’ events organised over the past week show how young minds are coming up with creative solutions. Entrepreneurs should see mobility as a sector with immense opportunity for innovation and growth. It is a sector where innovation can help solve problems for public good.