The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) the apex industry association of India, has urged the government for multi-stakeholder consultations with a special focus on affordability of consumers before setting a deadline for replacing conventional internal combustion engines on two and three-wheelers with electric powertrains. The CII has asked the government for a proper, well-aligned roadmap, formulated in consultation with industry stakeholders, before finalising goals and timelines for electrification of vehicles in India. The CII statement comes after the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said that the deadlines for two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturers to convert to electric will disrupt the industry.
"Constructive disruptions driven by market forces coupled with enabling policies is the kernel of any innovation and we are hopeful that the same is adopted as India readies itself for the advent of new technologies in mobility including electric vehicles," Vikram Kirloskar, President, CII, said in a statement. The CII said that the apex body has engaged with stakeholders from various interlinked industries like renewable electricity and power, battery makers and auto manufacturers to create recommendations that will help India achieve its goals of lowering emissions and conform to commitments on climate change.
"It is important to set the goals right and work towards them as we look at fuel efficiencies and choices for future mobility solutions. The processes of how we get there should be driven by market and industry, to get the best results for the nation," the CII president said. The CII has advocated a three-pronged strategy to make this transformational shift in transportation in India.
The apex industry body says one of the first strategies to adopt is to set the right goal that should be seen from a macro perspective of carbon footprint and energy security. The target and the timeline set to achieve the desired goal needs to be deliberated with diverse stakeholder consultations at the initial phase so that it is both sustainable and achievable. The industry body maintains that while India has managed to position itself globally with ambitious targets, it will be important to take stakeholders along, in setting the targets.
Secondly, the CII urges the government to be technology-agnostic in its approach as the transportation sector like any new industry segment is witnessing huge transformative innovations in vehicles and batteries. The final strategy, says CII, to make the transformative mobility mission effective revolves around affordability of customers which will depend on market forces. Vehicles like two-wheelers and three-wheelers are preferred modes of transport in rural areas and towns where most of India resides. While on one hand, motorcycles are used by small businessmen and farmers in rural areas, scooters are often used as family vehicles - more as a second two-wheeler used by women or young adults.
The CII's statement comes in response to a proposal by the government's think-tank Niti Aayog to completely ban three-wheelers with internal combustion engines by 2023, and two-wheelers with internal combustion engines below 150 cc by 2025.