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There is Still Lot of Fuel Left in Electric, Don't Miss the Bus: Nitin Gadkari to Investors In a session on Electric Vehicle Manufacturing at 10th VGGS 2024, Union minister Nitin Gadkari urged investors to not miss bus in EV space. The session also saw some other eminent speakers from national and international levels, think tanks, multilateral agencies, government agencies as well as academia sharing their views.

By Priya Kapoor

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Union minister Nitin Gadkari

There is still huge potential left in Electric Vehicles (EV) space and those who have not ventured into it can still do so," said Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India at a session titled Electric Vehicle Manufacturing- Charging Ahead to 2047 held at 10th VGGS 2024 on Thursday. "EV is a INR 2.5 lakh crore industry. EV has a 4 lakh crore of exports, created 4 crore jobs and is giving maximum revenue as part of GST to state and central government. The potential is huge not just domestically but globally. Therefore, I urge investors to not miss the bus."

He also said the various issues associated with EVs are getting resolved now. "EV is cost-effective, pollution free and indigenous but the cost of Lithium-ion battery was an issue, but is slowly coming down which will further equate the prices of EVs with petrol vehicles. Also, charging should not be an issue now as NHAI is developing 670 roadside amenities that will have electric charging infrastructure on them," said Gadkari,

While addressing, he also praised Gujarat for buying electric buses and excellent work in scraping and setting up of scraping unit for vehicles. "Scraping will reduce the cost of components like plastic, rubber and alumninum by as much as 30-40% . I urge the state of Gujarat to also work on flex engines (which are 60% electric and 40% biofuel)."

Apart from minister, the session also saw some other eminent speakers from national and international levels, think tanks, multilateral agencies, government agencies as well as academia sharing their views.

Said Vikram Gulati, Country Head and Executive Vice President (Corporate Affairs & Governance), Toyota Kirloskar Motor, "Technology is rapidly evolving. We are coming up with solid state batteries in couple of years in our electric vehicle. A vehicle which will be charging in 10 minutes giving you range of 1200 km. It will be addressing certain sector of consumers. Going forward, technology will not remain static. We have to look at how we work with alternative storage technologies. This is a new technology. Our entire system is not geared up, so we have to rapidly bridge that gap. But we have got a very good start. And we have to keep this momentum going- sustain the demand so that things can take off."

On EV commercial mobility (public transportation), Nishant Arya, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, JBM Group said, "The industry is taking off this year with 1.5 million electric vehicles. And PLI, Fame and multiple initaitives are being taken. About 8 lakh electic busies are envisaged. The ecosystem approach is very relevant and most important because total cost of ownership is very critical and for that you need to understand whether each and every component is paramount. I personally feel India will become a hub of manufacturing."

"A lot of countries have requirement , middle east, north amerida the complete public transformation is revamped. The kind of methodology is being demanded by the end consumer is totally different. Today the role manfacturing is playing with localisation, but the changing technology would need industry to invest in it. Software plays a very important role. We have 75 ios changes in our software in last 3 years. Its software on wheels. Total understanding has changed. With these vehicles (buses), the asset ulitsation is highest," said Arya.

Uday Narang, Founder, Omega Seiki Mobility, "Most of India's population stay in Tier 2, 3 and 4. We have to focus on products for people living in those cities. This is where manufacturers need to think. India is a very price sensitive country. And real work need to be done in rural India. But a stable government policy is important. When people invest, they need a stable policy. PLI scheme is excellent but it needs to be worked on government-private partnership."

On education system aiding the ecosystem and making the student industry ready, Dr. Rajul Gajjar, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Technological University said the industry and academia need to work together. "They have to be integerated otherwise there would be a gap. We have about 1.5 lakh students from the engineering technology in the state of Gujarat. We have serious research and patents and technology transfers coming out of research. We have supervisors who are very well in this technology which is evolving. One needs to be deep dive into it. Come with real problems. We want problems to be defined. Resources are where industry can help in. We have very laid out research ecosystems."

In an individual session, Arun Malhotra, Former Managing Director, Nissan Motor Corporation took to the stage and said that it is great year for EV industry. "There is growth of 50%. Two wheelers lead by contributing 55%, but the penetration of two wheeler is still 2-5%. We have come a long way but there is still a long way to go. Its important to know what customers require. Vehicles need to be designed from way up. Lot of working is already happening. Various stakeholders need to collaborate. The twain in Industry and academia has started collaborating."

Priya Kapoor

Former Feature Editor

Priya holds more than a decade of experience in journalism. She has worked on various beats and was chosen as a Road Safety Fellow in 2018, wherein she produced many in-depth & insightful features on road crashes in India. She writes on startups, personal finance and Web3. Outside of work, she likes gardening, driving and reading. 




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