- 16 August 2012
- What plans do Mahindra REVA have for the next two years to make more electric vehicles (EVs) visible in Indian roads?
We are looking at launching our next generation EV by the end of this year. This car was also showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo 2012. The model is more stylish and contemporary, and will address the needs of a wider market than our current car. We have also set up a new plant with an installed capacity of 30,000 cars per year, to cater to the potential demand of EVs which shall go into production later this year. The new model will roll out from this new facility.
- Electric cars enjoy Government support and subsidies in many countries, but recently we saw the Indian Government withdrew the policy which subsidized electric vehicles. What do you think is the rationale behind this?
The Indian Government is very serious in its intent to support electric vehicles. And accordingly the National Mission on Electric Mobility has now kicked off. The withdrawal of subsidies is more of a teething issue in implementation than a policy issue. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is very supportive in its intent to promote EVs and I am hopeful that they will be able to resolve this quickly. But having said that, there is no denying the fact that this teething issue has impacted the EV industry very negatively, and may even maime it if the support is not reinstated quickly.
- National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, which is aimed at promoting electric and hybrid vehicles, is likely to be launched very soon. What are the critical key areas that you expect this policy to address, so as to map out an enabling environment for the future of EVs in India?
The NEMM 2020 is expected to be a very comprehensive plan to announce policies which shall look at developing the complete eco-sphere for electric mobility. The policies are expected to address all key issues related to the EV industry and are about creating the key enablers to bring EVs into the main stream for urban mobility.
- Of the various proposals the electric mobility mission talks about – there is a mandate of introducing EVs in Government vehicles and public transportation – do you see a role for small scale EV pilots before a fully fledged roll out is underway?
Like I mentioned before, the Indian Government is very serious in its intent to support EV mobility, and I am confident that there will be pilot projects that shall get mandated by the Government. We look forward to engaging with the Government on any such pilot project.
- What role do you think EVs play in accelerating the clean revolution in an emerging economy like India?
EVs will play a very critical role in the clean revolution in India, primarily due to the fact that India has huge problems with urban pollution, and personal transportation happens to be one of the main contributors to this problem. At present the car density in our country is very low; at about 15 cars per 1000 people compared to 150-200 per thousand people in Western Europe. The fast pace of urbanization in the country has triggered a growth in car sales and the car density is increasing at a tremendous pace, resulting in increased urban pollution and problems thereof. EVs are one answer to this problem as they have zero emissions.
- With lack of finance and missing infrastructure, there are huge challenges that must be addressed. What do you think is the ideal roadmap for the 'Indian EV dream' to gain wings?
There is no doubt that EVs are the only sustainable mobility option available to the world today. An option which does not require huge infrastructure compared to other alternative fuels for transportation like CNG/LPG or fuel cells. Your home itself is the fuel station as EVs can be charged at home. For EVs to take center stage, the Government needs to roll out the NMEM 2020 policy at the earliest stage, and aggressively incentivize customers to adopt EVs as the preferred mode of urban personal mobility. The investment made by the Government in promoting EV mobility can potentially be recovered from fossil fuel savings, along with a huge bonus of reduction in CO2 emissions.
Pavan Sachdeva, the GM – Sales & Marketing, Mahindra Reva.
Pavan is passionate about Electric Mobility and believes that EVs are the only mobility solution available to address India's energy security issues, plus they also answer to the woes of urban pollution.
In the future, as smart cities are created, electric mobility will be integral to facilitating emission-free and connected commuting.
At Mahindra Reva, Pavan has given an impetus to domestic sales and marketing operations with a customer centric approach.
During his career of over 25 years as a sales professional and entrepreneur, he has been associated with diverse products and brands wherein he has successfully implemented "Go To Market" strategies for various products and services, notably in the field of Telecom and Office Automation.
He is very active in the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) as a Management Committee Board Member, and is also a member of the working groups in the National Mission for Electric Mobility.