Nitin Gadkari: “OEMs should discourage diesel vehicle sales and focus on alternate fuels.’

by Nilesh Wadhwa 25 Aug 2021

Speaking at SIAM’s annual convention today, transport minister Nitin Gadkari lauded the role of India Auto Inc and apex industry body SIAM. He said: “The Indian automotive industry is a key driver of economic growth in the country. It is the largest employer, biggest exporter and contributes 7.1% to GDP. It employs an estimated 37 million jobs directly and 31 million indirectly. The automotive industry is a key player for India’s $5 trillion economy goal (by 2025), target 50 million new jobs, and GDP 12% contribution.”

He said, “This is a crucial time to think of out of box, focus on the environment and import substitution. The auto industry has always supported the government on several measures and I congratulate it for the switch from BS4 to BS6.”

“I appeal to OEMs to discourage diesel vehicle sales and instead promote alternate fuels. I am happy know that SIAM is working with IIT-Bombay for research on EVs. We have a pool of quality engineers who are questioning  conventional methods. Partnership between the auto sector and government institutes can help us to develop models and green hydrogen as a fuel. Industry needs to look at commercialisation of new technologies.”

“We are looking at gradual ethanol blending of 20% by 2025. I am looking forward to e20-compatible vehicles, without compromise on environment and am committed to deliver flex-engine vehicles. We need to accept the successful example of Brazil in ethanol – this will benefit farmers, environment and the country.”

“We are working on manufacturing of lithium ion batteries and are positioned to make 100% in India; we are now making 86% of it in India. There is a need to develop low-cost indigenous technology and the government is strongly encouraging renewable based EV charging infra. As regards LNG for CVs, the economics is good – the cost of conversion is Rs 10 lakh and can be recovered in just 294 days.”

“The ministry is exploring prospects of hydrogen and fuel cell. Green hydrogen is the fuel of future – we need to explore its production, storage and transport. I invite ideas to use green hydrogen for long-range vehicles – trains and aviation. We are planning a policy to promote hydrogen as a energy source instead of coal. We need to prioritise our import substitute for fuel.”