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Govt proposal to electrify all 2-Wheelers By 2025

13/08/2019 | Author: Autoguide | 0 Comments Back To Home   < Previous News   |   Next news >

New-age entrepreneurs are backing the move

The Government’s proposal to electrify all new two-wheelers below 150cc in the next six years has split the industry, according to reports appearing in the media. While new-age entrepreneurs are backing the move, their older peers are opposing it, said the reports.
 
Founders of electric two-wheeler startups from Mr Rahul Sharma (Revolt Intellicorp) and Mr Tarun Mehta (Ather Energy) to Mr Jeetender Sharma (Okinawa Electric) said with a slew of new products coming into the market, consumer interest is peaking and this would help trigger the switch-over to e-mobility in the next three to five years.
 
Micromax Co-Founder Mr Rahul Sharma, who is venturing into the electric mobility space with Revolt IntelliCorp, said the Government’s proposal for mass electrification of two-wheelers can be realised in the next three years. He said unavailability of appropriate products in the space had kept consumers from buying electric two-wheelers.
 
“If you give them (users) a great looking product and then tell them that there are no daily expenses on fuel, why will the market not shift? Till now electric products didn’t give such performance. Consumers were looking for something which wasn’t available in the market. That is why I am saying the market will shift in three years,” Mr Sharma told prominent business daily Economic Times.  As many as 21 million two-wheelers were sold in the local market in the last financial year.
 
Mr Tarun Mehta, Co-Founder, Ather Energy, concurred, “This (mass electrification of two-wheelers) will not take a decade. It can happen in the next two-three years. We are delivering only in Bengaluru at present, and we have a waiting period of four-five months. Supply is limited but consumer interest is peaking. This is the right time for the government to mandate mass electrification…Large manufacturers have the scale to meet this demand.”
 
Mr Mehta, who believes demand for electric vehicles “will go through the roof ”in future, said automakers’ concerns over lack of availability of charging infrastructure and a competitive vendor base for locally manufacturing electric two-wheelers are outdated. “It does not take a lot of investment to set up charging infrastructure for two-wheelers. As far as local manufacturing is concerned, there are a lot of vendors today who are hungry to get into the e-mobility space. And if there is demand of such scale, component makers will respond,” he said.
 
Echoing similar sentiments, Mr Jeetender Sharma, Founder of Okinawa Autotech, said: “We are in 2019 and the Government is talking of 2025. Six years is a reasonable timeframe for manufacturers who have the will to launch electric products”. He added, “In 2000, when the Government mandated a ban on two-stroke two-wheelers, the change happened overnight... it (mass electrification of two-wheelers) is doable”.
 
The support for the move from new-age entrepreneurs has come at a time when industry veterans from Bajaj Auto MD Mr Rajiv Bajaj, Hero Moto-Corp Chairman Mr Pawan Munjal, HMSI President Mr Minoru Kato to TVS Motor Company Chairman Mr Venu Srinivasan have criticised reports that alluded to a plan of setting a 2023 deadline for three-wheelers and 2025 for two-wheelers up to 150cc engine capacity to run on batteries.
 
Industry captains have termed the deadline ‘unrealistic’ and said such a move, if implemented, would risk derailing auto manufacturing, which supports millions of jobs.
 
Government think-tank NITI Aayog’s proposal calling for replacement of various categories of vehicles by EVs within a certain time had prompted the Confederation of Indian Industry to seek a wider consultation before finalising the plan. 
 
At a meeting in the first week of June with representatives from NITI Aayog and Department of Heavy Industries (DHI), top officials from CII and from auto companies, while some mentioned scale and EV costs as the biggest hurdle in meeting the targets, others cautioned on dangers of “hasty localisation." 
 
Mr Rajan Wadhera, President, Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM), said, “The plan needs to be put in place with a practical approach without needlessly disrupting the automotive industry".
 
The Government’s move comes at a time when the world’s fastest-growing auto market is staring at a challenging task of leapfrogging to BS-VI emission norms, complying with many new safety norms, in the shortest time-frame ever attempted in the world. To meet the BS-VI norms, cumulatively, the industry has pumped in Rs 70,000-80,000 crore, said Mr Wadhera. 
 
Some of them also pointed out the Government’s subsidy scheme FAME-II needs to be amended as it overlooks the basic issue of demand generation. “The FAME II policy in its current form is not conducive and will not help in meeting the targets," said an official at an auto company. The policy doesn’t support battery swap, which is particularly important for a three-wheeler, said another official.
 

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