The government is trying to create an ecosystem to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways & MSME, highlighted the steps taken by the government to promote EVs including the reduction in GST to five per cent.
He said the Center has allowed delinking of battery cost of two to three wheelers from vehicle cost as it accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the cost. Gadkari, at the virtual conference of the 9th Edition of Auto Serve 2020 Electric Mobility Conference 2020 – Seizing Opportunities in New Normal, said the government is also working towards making India a global automobile manufacturing hub in the next five years. The minister feels this is possible as India’s auto industry has made significant strides in terms of development of different designs and models, robust R&D, huge market, stable government frame work, as well as bright and young engineering minds. He highlighted that India is already the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers in the world.
In regards to Production Linked Incentive (PLI), Gadkari said the government has earmarked over Rs 51,000 crore for this sector, the highest amongst the 10 champion sectors. There is a huge requirement of about 25 million skilled jobs in the automobile sector in the near future, he said. The minister called upon the automobile industry to push for manufacturing flex engines which has versatility to use petrol or ethanol or CNG as fuels. Giving examples of Brazil and the US auto sectors, Gadkari said the Indian auto industry needs to follow suite.
Industry experts say the changing landscape and the notion of new technologies able to threat incumbents creates windows of opportunities for companies and nations, which if well exploited, imply endogenous development cycles and establish virtuous trajectories in a new industry. It also means that not taking advantage of the great upturn may lead territories and companies to non-competitive peripheral condition.