Speaking at the HT Auto EV Conclave, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari backed the country’s advancement in the electric vehicle (EV) mission. He noted that support; encouragement and awareness for EVs provided via central and state governments’ EV policies, subsidies, incentives and exemptions have played an important role in India’s adoption and progress towards electric mobility.
The minister also urged various industry stakeholders to come together to make India the world’s largest EV manufacturing and supplying hub. Confident that EVs will overtake fossil-fuel-run vehicles by 2050, Gadkari said, “Both battery electric vehicle and fuel-cell vehicle technologies are complementary to each other and are all set to overtake fossil-run automotive by 2050.”
Gadkari also elaborated how affordability of electric vehicles is linked to localisation of EV parts as well as indigenous manufacturing of batteries for such vehicles. Noting that battery is the most important component of an electric vehicle and constitutes at least 50% of its upfront cost, he informed that various researches are going on in the country to develop indigenous and alternative battery technologies.
Apart from battery-powered vehicles, Gadkari also backed various other means of alternate and clean fuel. He touted green hydrogen to be a zero carbon and sustainable option, especially for heavy and long-haul vehicles such as trucks and buses used for logistical operations. Alternatives such as hydrogen-blended CNG are also being looked at for future use.
The minister also said at the conclave that efforts are being made to formalize the procedure of retrofitting existing ICE engines with CNG, LNG or electric powertrains. Though there are various safety and compliance-related challenges and this industry is at a nascent stage, the government plans to provide incentives to develop this procedure for STUs that cannot afford buying new electric vehicles.