Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has said that India is poised for a leap in electric mobility, which will both reduce the country's excessive dependence on oil imports and reduce pollution.
Addressing the media after inaugurating the electric vehicle chargers - slow and fast chargers - at an event, 'Charging the Drive' held at the NITI Aayog premises, Gadkari said the use of electric vehicles will help reduce the burgeoning crude oil imports that hit the exchequer as well as cause immense pollution.
Gadkari also hailed NITI Aayog for putting 17 electric vehicles on display at its premises, calling it a historic and revolutionary step taken by NITI Aayog to promote electric mobility. ''Aaj kaprayas economy ko strong karega, imports substitution karega, pollution kamhoga aurrozgaari badhegi,'' (today's efforts will strengthen the economy, lead to import substitution, reduce pollution and generate employment) he said.
The union minister said the progress made in solar and wind energy also points to the potential of electric vehicles in future in India. He urged the industry to step forward for `Make-in India' electric vehicles and gave the mantra of ''First come, first profit'' at the same time keeping a stringent focus on quality.
He encouraged the use of electric vehicles in public transport, announcing the soon-to-be constructed 70 km electric ropeway system from Dhaula Kuan in Delhi to Manesar. He also spoke about tackling on-ground issues such as providing for electric charging stations alongside petrol pump infrastructure.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant announced the agency's decision to convert all of its fleet to electric vehicles over the next 4 months. ''We will push adoption across all segments, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and buses. NITI Aayog, ministry of road transport and highways, ministry of power, and department of heavy industries will come together to bring about a revolution to support the PM's initiative of using technology for Make-in-India,'' he added.
NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat spoke about how greenhouse emissions can be reduced through the use of alternate fuels in vehicles. He discussed alternative technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and ethanol-based fuels and their potential applications across the economy.
The DG, DMEO and Adviser, Electric Mobility at NITI Aayog, Anil Srivastava, spoke about the global disruptions in electric mobility and how India has come a long way in this field.
The event showcased the inauguration of the ABB, Chargepoint and Exicom electric vehicle charging stations and a quick charging demonstration of 17 electric vehicles on display. Hero Eco's Photon Lithium bikes, Okinawa's Praise and Ridge scooters, Lohia's Oma Star Li two-wheeler and Comfort Plus e-rikshaw, Shigan's Green Rick Super (Passenger) and Green Cart (Garbage loader) raised the Make-in-India flag high and showcased the path to a vibrant electrically mobile future in India. The Hyundai Ioniq, the Mahindra eVerito, the Nissan Leaf, the E Tigor, Magic EV, Iris EV and Electric bus by TATA Motors were prominent show-stealers.
The event comes in the backdrop of the response to growing concerns about climate change and the transport sector's dependence on fossil fuels. Many countries around the world have called for electrification of their transport fleet.
For India, the electric mobility revolution is a disruption that will alter the projected scenario dramatically. However, the impetus to drive this revolution will come from the adequate availability of charging infrastructure. NITI Aayog, as the co-ordinating agency for electric mobility has taken the lead and proactively installed 2 electric vehicle charging stations in its premises which were inaugurated today.