Electric vehicles in India: Companies seek government support to meet the 2030 target

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Companies in India are seeking government support to meet the goal of at least 65 percent of all new car sales being electric by 2030, according to a CEO-led organization of large corporations worldwide leading the push. More than 25 companies, including automakers Mahindra & Mahindra and Volvo, oil giant Shell, and clean mobility startups, want India to set firm goals and formulate guidelines to support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) said Thursday.

This marks the first joint foray by companies in India to move to clean mobility, and comes weeks ahead of a United Nations climate change conference – which is seen as critical to wresting more pledges from governments to halt global warming.

India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after China and the United States and is therefore indispensable in the fight against climate change.

“After the rapid growth of India’s renewable energy sector, decarbonizing transportation is India’s next great opportunity to address climate change,” said Joe Phelan, director of WBCSD in India.

Achieving the 2030 target could offer an investment opportunity of about $ 200 billion (about Rs.15.060 billion), the WBCSD said in a statement, adding that doing so would also cut India’s road transport emissions by 15 percent.

India has some of the world’s most polluted cities and the government has pushed automakers to switch to electric vehicles to purify the air and cut costly oil imports. However, companies have been slow to adapt, saying that the price of electric vehicles is still high due to high battery costs and inadequate charging infrastructure is affecting sales.

In recent months, India has tightened plans to incentivize businesses to build electric vehicles and batteries locally to increase supply and to complement a number of federal and state benefits for electric vehicle buyers.

The WBCSD said that by 2030, 30 percent of new cars, 70 percent of new motorcycles and scooters, and 35 percent of new buses sold should be electric.

To do this, they want the government to legalize e-bike taxi services, issue fleet permits for e-tricycles, ensure easy access to finance and leasing for e-cars, and speed up the installation of public chargers.

The Indian bus manufacturer JBM Group, the motorcycle manufacturer Hero Electric, the truck manufacturer Switch Mobility, the energy company Fortum, IKEA and LeasePlan are also supporting the initiative.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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