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‘India will be Atma Nirbhar in EV battery; 80% 2-wheelers will be electric by 2030’: Nitin Gadkari 

‘India will be Atma Nirbhar in EV battery; 80% 2-wheelers will be electric by 2030’: Nitin Gadkari 

Gadkari also spoke of another alternative to petrol and diesel -- ethanol.

Ketan Mehta, Jeetender Sharma and Nitin Gadkari at the India Today Conclave 2021 Ketan Mehta, Jeetender Sharma and Nitin Gadkari at the India Today Conclave 2021

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari has said he aims to make India ‘Atma Nirbhar’ in electric vehicle batteries in the coming years. Gadkari, who was at the India Today Conclave 2021, also stated that by 2030, 80 per cent of two-wheelers and 30 per cent of private vehicles will be electric. He added that he wants to make India’s automobile sector the top-most in the world.
 
Speaking at the Game Changers: Climate Action session at the India Today Conclave 2021 on Friday, along with Okinawa Autotech founder and MD Jeetender Sharma and Hop Electric Mobility Founder & CEO Ketan Mehta, Gadkari stated that the biggest problem India is facing today is rising pollution levels and the economy. He stated that with petrol and diesel being widely used, the import bill currently is at Rs 8 lakh crore, which is likely to increase to Rs 25 lakh crore in the next five years. Hence, electric vehicles (EVs), which will ensure a lower import bill, lesser pollution, and indigenous production, is the solution. 
 
He said that not only in India, EV sales have increased 140 per cent globally from the previous year. “Intelligent manufacturing capability, young manpower, avail of material, reducing production cost, not compromising on quality... sky is the limit,” he said while elaborating on his plans for the EV sector in India.
 
The minister said that by 2030, 30 per cent private cars will be electric, 70 per cent commercial vehicles will be electric, 40 per cent buses will be electric, and 80 per cent two-wheelers will be electric.
 
Gadkari also spoke of another alternative to petrol and diesel -- ethanol. He said that like Brazil, all cars in India too would have flex engines gradually. He said that the petrol is some Rs 110 per litre now and ethanol is Rs 65. Even with ethanol’s lower calorific value -- 800 ml petrol is equal to 1 litre petrol -- the consumer stands to save Rs 20. “In the coming years, there will be ethanol pumps everywhere. Our farmers are already working on it. Ethanol will be a pollution-free fuel and will also cost you less,” he said.

 Lithium, too, is now 80 per cent made in India and there is no shortage, the minister said, addressing fears of a shortage and import concerns of lithium ion. “Its cost is getting less too. Do not think lithium ion is a problem,” he said.

 
Reiterating Gadkari, Ketan Mehta too pointed out that by 2030 every car sold will be an EV. “People are already adopting widely. Our stocks get finished overnight. Government initiatives and high fuel prices have helped too,” he added.
 
When asked about the anxiety of an EV running out of charge mid-way, Gadkari said that is very unlikely to happen. “Car won’t stop in between. It is a needless fear. I am assuring you, this won’t happen,” he said. 
 
Jeetender Sharma also said that these are nothing but anxieties. He also added that it mostly depends on the usage. 
 
The Okinawa MD further clarified that things have changed a lot in the past years. “I was told that setting up this company is a suicide mission. I was told if I sell 500 units, I would achieve a lot. But we sold 10,000 units in the first year,” he said. 
 
Gadkari stated that the government is establishing hundreds of pumps in the national highways and EV chargers will be added in all of them. 
 
Talking about competition, Mehta argued that there is a very strong entry barrier in the auto segment. For instance, only two-three companies dominate the auto section. But EV is different and most of the players are new, he said.

Also read: Okinawa to launch high-speed electric scooter, motorcycle this year: Founder Jeetender Sharma