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Policy on EVs, alternative vehicles soon; mobility next in fight against climate change: PM Modi

The PM said India is best placed to be an early mover in adoption of transportation solutions based on clean energy

Nikita Vashisht @nikita_vashisht
Dhirendra Tripathi @dtrips

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 7 said the government will soon issue a policy on electric vehicles and those based on alternative fuels. He was speaking during the first edition of MOVE: Global Mobility Summit, a two-day event organised by Niti Aayog on developing transportation based on clean energy.

“We will soon put in place a stable policy on electric vehicles and other alternative vehicles... we will do whatever it takes because it is our commitment to heritage and our future generations,” Modi said in his 30-minute speech on the first day of the event.

The government currently doesn’t have a separate policy on electric vehicles. The department of heavy industries has, since 2015, had a framework called FAME, which stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles, that provides subsidy to electric car manufacturers.

The second phase of FAME is expected any time now. According to sources, the finance ministry has approved Rs 5,500 crore for the second phase, of which Rs 4,500 crore will be to provide subsidy to all electric vehicles.

The prime minister said mobility is the next frontier in the world’s fight against climate change as it accounts for one-fifth of the world’s carbon emission.

He said India is best placed to be an early mover in adoption of transportation solutions based on clean energy.

“India has inherent strength and comparative advantage. We have fewer vehicles per capita than other economies. We do not carry the legacy of other economies which were built on private car ownership,” he said.

He listed out the characters that a city’s transportation system must have. He said it must be common, connected, convenient, congestion-free, cutting-edge and clean.

“Mobility is like the Internet in early days,” he said.

Modi said transportation systems must be friendly to all, built on charged mobility, must be integrated with other systems and that the emphasis should be on reducing jams to ensure damage to the economy is minimised.

The summit has over 1,200 delegates from the world over with several promoters, chief executive officers and other senior officials of multinationals and Indian corporates attending the grand event.

Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra, Suzuki Motor Corporation Chairman Osamu Suzuki, Kalyani Group promoter and Bharat Forge Chairman and Managing Director Baba Kalyani, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, Tata Motors CEO Guenter Butschek and Ola promoter Bhavish Aggarwal were in the audience as Modi spoke.

Modi said the world is in the middle of the mobility revolution and economic growth can be boosted by reducing the burden of travel and transportation. He said India must leverage the full advantage of pooling.

Calling upon the young entrepreneurs, he said they should see mobility as an enabler for growth and development and then build a template for the world to emulate.

India has been at the forefront of implementing its commitment to the provisions of the 2015 Paris Accord on climate change. While its work on installing power capacities based on renewable sources has been creditable, the progress on moving transportation to clean sources has been less than satisfactory. Lack of infrastructure like charging stations and absence of lithium — a key component of an electric vehicle that is made up through imports — has held back the ecosystem from developing.

First Published on Sep 7, 2018 01:22 pm
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