Finance Minister plugs into EVs in Interim Budget

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 01 Feb 2019


Delivering the Interim Budget for 2019-20 today, and as part of a 10-point agenda for the next decade, finance minister Piyush Goyal also made a case for a pollution-free India, and for electric vehicles (EVs).

He said, “This India will drive on EVs with renewables to become a major source of energy supply. This will also reduce import of crude (oil).”

Commenting on the finance minister’s bullishness on EVs, Sohinder Gill, director general, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s and Finance Minister Piyush Goyal’s mission of bringing an electric vehicle revolution to India by 2030 is truly path-breaking and will surely provide much-needed impetus to the industry. The government’s focus on the use of clean energy in the transportation sector would certainly help our country tackle the issue of climate change." 

"The EV industry welcomes our finance minister’s commitment towards making the country pollution-free. We hope the government would soon announce a concrete plan of action with its time-bound implementation in order to fulfil its stated vision. SMEV strongly feels that an initial high dose of incentives and actions must be taken in the next year or 2 years to relaunch the electric mobility mission that has sort of lost steam in the recent years due to flip-flop of policies,” added Gill. 

Charles Frump, MD, Volvo Car India: “We welcome the government’s vision to protect the environment and lead energy revolution with electric vehicles in the coming years. Volvo Cars’ future roadmap is completely in sync with this vision as globally we plan to go fully electric in the next few years. The fully electric car will make its entry into the Indian market soon after its global launch. We not only plan to launch the first-ever locally assembled plug-in hybrid vehicle in India later this year but also bring in four more plug-in hybrid vehicles next year.”

Ayush Lohia, CEO, Lohia Auto Industries which an electric two-wheeler maker, said: “As per the 2019 Budget, EVs are a key part of government’s vision for 2030 and that the next decade will witness a greater push towards electric vehicles.
“However considering the environment concerns, we were hoping for something concrete in the 2019 Budget. Moreover, to meet the target of 2030, the government needs to plan today instead of giving EVs a push at a later stage.”

Parveen Kharb, CEO and Co-Founder, Twenty Two Motors: "We welcome the Union government's budget announcement of making a clean and green India. The Union Budget focused on making India pollution-free and electric vehicles will play a key role in achieving the goal. The import duty reduction on electric vehicle components will further reinforce this and lead to wider acceptance of electric vehicles. However, some sops for Lithium-Ion batteries could fast track the move."

Jeetender Sharma, MD, Okinawa Scooter: We are pleased to know that the government sees electric vehicles as a key part of its vision for 2030. The government has announced a slew of favorable policies for the EVs, most recently reducing the import tariff on imported parts to 10 from 15 percent. While this would boost the demand and supply of EVs in India, the interim budget announcement also favours the same.

As the government gears up to make India pollution-free and promote EVs, we believe that India will emerge as one amongst the globally-leading manufacturing hubs for EVs. The boost from the government will also attract global leaders and Indian manufacturers to innovate and make EVs a lucrative segment for everyday consumers.”

Dr Rishi Bhatnagar, president, Aeris Communications & chairman IET IoT Panel India: “For any economy to grow and thrive, it is imperative to have a clean environment. With the government of India’s initiative towards a ‘Green India’, electric vehicles play a major role in achieving the goal of a cleaner and greener India. We, Aeris Communications, as M2M (machine-to-machine) service providers for the auto industry, look forward to add value in India having EVs as the key mode of transportation in India by 2030.”