The Road transport ministry is preparing a cabinet note to facilitate the
use of electric vehicles for both public and private transport Union Minister
Gadkari said today. The cost of batteries is coming down rapidly and the
automobile industry should seize the opportunity to turn electric.
The Minister said such a mass transfer to electric driven vehicles will
help to reduce the import bill of Petroleum products besides controlling
excessive pollution in urban cities.
The Minister said he wants the pace of car sales in India to slow down as
growth in vehicle sales, particularly those running on diesel, is choking roads
and causing increased pollution.
"You may not like it, but I wish it from my heart that your growth
should be less. If this growth continues, I will need to add one more lane to
national highways, which will cost a whopping Rs 80,000 crore," Gadkari
told stunned representatives of the car industry.
He was speaking at an event called by lobby group Siam to work out
sustainable growth programmes for the automobile industry. Petrol and diesel
vehicles will need to make way for electric powertrains and engines running on
other fuel variants such as ethanol and biofuels, road transport minister Nitin
Gadkari said on Thursday.
"I am going to do it, whether you like it or not. I will bulldoze. We
will take the makers of petrol/diesel engine vehicles to task, Gadkari said.
Gadkari, speaking in line with the government's larger plan to have only
electric vehicles in India by 2030, advised the industry to "innovate,
research and work on new technologies" to find alternative transport
solutions. "Come to public transport. You can bring solutions through
Citing an example, the minister said car usage has seen a rapid rise.
"Even my chef comes in a car. There are too many cars, which is also
leading to parking problems. I think the car industry should also go in for
finding parking solutions, and look at an integrated approach."
To cut down on use of cars, especially in smaller towns, the minister said
the government is planning to come out with a platform or an app - on the lines
of Uber and Ola - that would facilitate the use of two-wheelers as a taxi.
"If only one person needs to travel, why should he use a car?"
Gadkari was scathing on the increasing sale of diesel and petrol cars, saying
they were leading to a hefty import bill as well as contributing to growing
pollution on the roads.
"I want the import bill and pollution to be reduced. These are big
problems," Gadkari said, adding that "we need to move towards
alternative fuels" such as ethanol. "The government has decided to
start 15 industries for second-generation ethanol. Ethanol can easily be
produced from agro-based cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw, bagass and
bamboo. Alternative fuel is import substitute, cost effective and pollution
free," Gadkari added.
The minister said that the industry should increasingly focus on electric
vehicles and added that cost of batteries has also been coming down.
"A Cabinet note is being prepared that will facilitate the use of
electric vehicles," Gadkari said, seeking the launch of electric bikes, buses
Hinting that Siam has been trying to go slow on transition towards cleaner
fuels, Gadkari said, "I told my officials that you are influenced by Siam.
I asked them to get consultants and introduce European and US standards, right
from fuel to auto engineers."
The minister said the industry should dedicate a part of its profits
towards research on finding out "cost-effective import substitutes and
pollution-free technologies" and methodologies.