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30% of vehicles to be electric-driven by 2030: Auto official

The government should be technology-agnostic as far as promotion of EVs (electric vehicles) are concerned, he said.

September 22, 2017 / 06:20 PM IST
As climate change makes itself more and more felt, fossil fuels are being looked at as something that needs to be changed. In an effort to move towards something more sustainable auto companies have no doubt started moving towards the electric path. And while the road will be long and hard, it is not undoable. Here are the electric cars that are already on sale in India.

As climate change makes itself more and more felt, fossil fuels are being looked at as something that needs to be changed. In an effort to move towards something more sustainable auto companies have no doubt started moving towards the electric path. And while the road will be long and hard, it is not undoable. Here are the electric cars that are already on sale in India.

With the idea of e-vehicle picking up with Indians, 30 per cent of the new vehicles on the roads in the country by 2030 are likely to be electric-driven, says a senior automobile industry executive.

On India's aggressive push towards e-mobility, vice chairman and whole-time director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), Shekar Viswanathan said it is impossible to have an all electric fleet in India by 2030.

TKM is a joint venture between the Japanese auto major and Kirloskar Group. "Moving to electric vehicles is a good move. After all you must diversify the transport sector, but to say that it should be 100 per cent electric, I think, is stretching the limits of credibility. I think it's impractical; it is not possible," Viswanathan told PTI.

"I don't think 100 per cent (switch-over) will happen. I think it will be more like 30 per cent by 2030 and may be higher percentage by 2040," he said.

The government should be technology-agnostic as far as promotion of EVs (electric vehicles) are concerned, he said.

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"If electric vehicles fail, then they will be crippling the transport sector. If electric vehicles succeed, as I think they will, but their success can only be to the extent of 30 percent (by 2030), which I think itself is a huge success," according to Viswanathan.

He does not see the government's push towards EVs as a disruption to the auto industry. "Electric vehicles have been there even in the earlier century but the advent of oil meant that electric did not gain much prominence.

Again in the 1970s and 1980s, electric came up but it went down again. This time around I think, it will succeed and it will have some permanence only because battery technology has improved," he said. But he also expressed the view that there is no need for the government to give further economic incentive to nudge the industry to go electric.

"They have already given a huge incentive to electric vehicles by way of tax break. They have given a huge disincentive to diesel and petrol vehicles. What more needs to be done? 12 percent (Goods and Services Tax) for electric vehicles versus 43 percent (GST) for hybrids...they have already given a huge advantage. Already an economic incentive has been given and that's good enough," Viswanathan said.

Building charging (stations) infrastructure in the country would take time, Viswanathan said.

"Theoretically, professors can talk, academics can talk, theoretically many things are possible but in practice to change consumer behaviour is going to be very difficult," he said.

"I think we should be leaders (in the world in the EV space, and not followers) but we should be practical to understand that you can't jump to 100 per cent (electric by 2030), I think it's a flawed vision," he said.
first published: Sep 22, 2017 06:15 pm

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