India Approves Hybrid Vehicle Promotion Plan

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The Indian government approved a plan to promote environmentally friendly electric and hybrid vehicles. The packaged cost would amount to Rs 23,000 or or U.S. $4 billion and would run for a period of eight (8) years.

The plan was announced by Mr. Vikram Gulati, a current director at the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Sector Enterprises. He said, “The first meeting of the National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) has adopted the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 or the NEMMP 2020. The NEMMP is a vision document that envisages promotion of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country in the next eight years. NEMMP 2020 objectives are meant to be achieved by state help that includes provisions for setting up of manufacturing units, acquisition of technologies, setting up of infrastructure and demand creation.”

The budget of between Rs 20,000 to 23,000 crore has been earmarked for the operationalization of NEMMP 2020 and a major component of this budget would come from private investors and groups.

The document projects the entry of about 70 lakh electric and/or hybrid vehicles such as passenger cars, two and three wheeled vehicles, as well as trucks and other heavy duty transport platforms. The current automobile market in India stands at seventeen million units annually, with electric and hybrid vehicles comprising less than one percent of the total vehicle population. It is projected that the cost savings in lowering fossil fuel demand would be triple the amount invested in the eight year long plan.

Other aspects of the plan include close governmental and industrial collaboration in rolling out projects and the inclusion of the project under the Automotive Mission Plan 2016, which is the national scheme for the expansion of electric mobility throughout India. Plan specifics include the production of six million green vehicles by 2020, with nearly eighty five percent are expected to be two wheeled vehicles.

Gulati related that the ministry would soon be finalizing specific projects under the general NEMMP 2020 plan that would then be forwarded to the government for final approval. He added, “The vision document will now be converted into schemes and will be sent for final government approvals. We expect the process to take a minimum of three to six months.”

Major passenger car manufacturers such as Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Hyundai, General Motors, Toyota Kirloskar and Mahindra are already in deep work to create electric and hybrid technology based transport platforms. Also participating are two wheel vehicle manufacturers such as Hero Moto Corp and TVS Motor, the latter having showcased their hybrid scooter models in the last Delhi Auto Expo held earlier this 2012.