Apex automobile industry body, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), has expressed reservations about the latest road map being worked upon by the Indian government. The government's think-tank NITI Aayog recently came out with its draft proposal to introduce a new mobility policy which is strongly tilted towards electric vehicles (EVs).
“India is a democratic country and the government should remain technology and fuel neutral and not mandate any one particular vehicle or fuel technology, as it would seriously hamper the development of other options in the pipeline,” said Sugato Sen, deputy director general, SIAM. He was speaking at a media meet in New Delhi today to announce the April 2017 sales numbers.
“Instead, the government should be setting targets (performance) for the companies to meet and let the auto industry bring in new and different technologies to achieve them,” he added.
SIAM, however, believes that electric mobility is going to lead the charge across the globe in the future, but is confident that the Indian landscape, which comes with its own set of infrastructural challenges and vast geographical dimensions, cannot simply rely on just one kind of vehicle type plying on the roads. It also requires other streams, many of which are being subject to intense research like methanol, to make their way into vehicles.
If India were to anyhow make a switch to EV technology, SIAM thinks that the NITI Aayog’s proposed 2032 timeframe for making India fully EV reliant seems realistic. For one, the Indian automotive sector has already been witnessing hybrid and mild-hybrid vehicles, and second, the pace of the evolution of this technology is going to be extremely speedy. Many places abroad, like the Scandinavian countries, are aiming to attain this tectonic shift by 2025-2030.