Nitin Gadkari expressed optimism about the adoption of electric and alternative fuel-powered vehicles, saying the scenario will change in the next five years.
The minister said that sales of petrol and diesel vehicles will fall day by day.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday expressed optimism about the adoption of electric and alternative fuel-powered vehicles, saying the scenario will change in the next five years. Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the minister stated that sales of petrol and diesel vehicles will fall day by day while that of electric and alternate fuel-powered vehicles will increase. The minister, however, refrained from fixing any target for alternative fuel and electric vehicles. “It (alternate fuels and electric vehicle) should be natural choice of the consumers…we don’t want to commit (or fix any target for EV),” Gadkari said.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had asked the minister to fix a target in terms of proportion of electric vehicles (EV) by a particular year for a focussed approach in this direction.
“Total game will be changed in next three years. Sales of petrol and diesel vehicles will reduce day by day. Alternate fuel and electric vehicle sales will increase. After five years total scenario will change,” Gadkari replied.
He cited an example that if a customer has to choose between an EV and a petrol car where the cost is same at Rs 15 lakh, with fuel cost of Rs 50,000 (petrol) and Rs 2,000 (for EV) then one would go for a more economical option.
The minister dismissed the issue of lack of EV charging infrastructure and stated that the day will come in a year when EV charging arrangement will be everywhere including in all offices.
“I never understand this (issue of shortage of EV charging infra). There is lot of discussion…NHAI is making 650 charging stations. Every 40 km (on highway) with roadside amenities.” He also told the House that scooter and car manufactures are providing small chargers and one can use car whole day and can plug it for charging in the evening at home. “It will be charged (overnight). There will not be any problem in the morning,” he said.
The minister acknowledged that battery cost is a major challenge.
“Presently lithium ion is a big challenge. We don’t have lithium ion. About 81 per cent batteries we manufacture here in India. Now lithium ion is available in the world. Government is in the process to acquire some mines,” he stated.
He also told the House that presently crude oil imports of India are worth Rs 8 lakh crore which will rise to Rs 25 lakh crore five years down the line.
“This is time for us to shift to alternate fuel, electricity, ethanol, methanol, Bio CNG, green hydrogen in the interest of nation, economy, ecology and environment. We are on the path,” he said. PTI KKS MR
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