‘ICE, EVs to co-exist for at least 20 years in India': Heavy Industries secretary

    Arun Goel said the Indian automotive industry must move towards technologies which will be the growth drivers in the future.

    Published On Sep 15, 2022 10:45:00 PM

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    Arun Goel

    Arun Goel, secretary of Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India.

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    While many countries have set aggressive targets to switch their new car sales to electric vehicles only as early as 2030, India is likely to see a major chunk of its passenger vehicle sales continue to be powered by internal combustion engines (petrol/diesel) in the coming future.

    • Many countries like UK could switch to EVs by 2035 
    • Some German brands like Audi to go all-electric by 2030

    Speaking at the 62nd SIAM Annual Convention at New Delhi, Arun Goel, secretary of Ministry of Heavy Industries, said, “ICE vehicles in India will co-exist with various electrified and greener fuel technologies powering cars at least for the next 20 years.”

    However, Goel did mention that despite the expected long-term sustenance of conventionally powered cars in the country, the industry must simultaneously move towards technologies which will be the growth drivers in the future. “We have to do continuous research, product development and attain large-scale manufacturing for emerging propulsion technologies,” he added.

    While India would likely continue to have ICE and electric vehicles in its new car parc for another two decades, this may not be the case in many other countries. The COP26 event held last year in Glasgow, UK saw many countries pledging for sustainability and promising definitive actions to combat climate change. Nations like Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway joined the declaration to work towards making new car sales in their respective markets to go emission-free by 2040, and no later than 2035 in leading markets.

    Furthermore, carmakers too have outlined their global plans of going all-electric. German luxury carmaker such as Audi AG, for instance, is slated to only sell EVs after 2030.

    Shift to higher-value, higher-tech approach

    Goel further said advanced automotive technologies, including high-end sensors, digital cockpits and infotainment systems, today only comprise about 3 percent of India's total passenger vehicles on sale. Meanwhile, globally, they average about 18 percent, and are slated to grow to 30 percent by 2030. “We have to shift to adopting a higher-value, higher-technology approach as well,” Goel added.

    India needs more mobility solutions than cars

    With its low car penetration levels of 30 cars per thousand people, India’s situation is quite unique on the global map wherein the country needs to offer affordable mobility solutions to its large population. Therefore, the transition to zero-emission vehicles could take longer than the West.

    According to Shradha Suri Marwah, vice president, Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India, or ACMA, “The Indian passenger vehicle market is poised to double in size and grow to become a 7-million-unit market by 2030. So, there will still be a large chunk of our population that would continue to buy conventionally powered vehicles, perhaps those running on CNG, flex-fuel or biofuels.”

    “We should use this transition time to not just localise our products but our designing as well,” Marwah had remarked at SIAM’s counterpart body ACMA’s 62 Annual Convention held in New Delhi a day prior on September 14.

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