The government is working on providing significant policy incentives for converting diesel buses running across India’s public transport system to electric in a bid to address energy security and environmental concerns.
Advisor to Prime Minister Tarun Kapoor on Tuesday said the government will come out with policies to get public transport to most of the Indian cities.
“We will also ensure that this happens with electric vehicles (EVs) and not with diesel only. You can look forward to very large support from the government so that not only we will see transition from diesel buses, but we also will see more electric public transport which is missing,” he said at an event organised by industry body FICCI.
Kapoor, who has also served as Oil Secretary, headed the Energy Transition Advisory Committee (ETAC), which was tasked by the Centre with creating a clean energy transition roadmap. The panel suggested banning diesel-operated four-wheelers and buses from million-plus populated cities by 2027.
Overhauling public transport
Kapoor emphasised that the government wants to focus on driving the public transport sector so that not only does India have more electric cars, buses and two-wheelers on the road, but also becomes a manufacturing hub for the world.
Highlighting the potential of the Indian EV market, he pointed out that the auto sector is already well established which means all leading players are already in the market. “It is just about transitioning which should be easy and all stakeholders need to work together to strengthen the EV sector,” he added.
“In the case of 2-wheelers, we should aim to transition close to 100 per cent in the next 5-7 years and there is no reason why we can’t do it. The price has come down slightly as India is a very price sensitive market and therefore, it has to come down further. The support from the government including subsidies, taxes and policy reforms will not take us beyond a point but it is the industry who must take it forward,” Kapoor asserted.
He also urged the industry for more investments in battery manufacturing along with the entire value chain of battery manufacturing.
Kapoor also released the FICCI-YES Bank report, India@2047: Electric Mobility, during the event, which establishes a vision for e-mobility in India for 2047, and an accelerated roadmap to achieve the same.
The report identifies several challenges that remain to be fully tackled, ranging from high upfront cost and constraints on vehicle finance to safety concerns, limited access to key raw materials, R&D and skill sets combined with low order volumes. It also highlights issues in charging infrastructure development and its utilisation.
It also identifies opportunities offered by the more than 20 million-strong domestic vehicle market and the global shift towards electrification, supported by tailwinds such as tightening emission norms, Central and State incentives on vehicle purchase, demand aggregation and growth of the TCO attractive fleet segment.
It recognises local industry developing due to need of products made for the Indian drive cycle, schemes such as PLI and localisation norms for demand incentives.