Indian Prime Minister unveils national electric vehicle plan

Clare Saxon Ghauri
9 January 2013

NEW DELHI: Today Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched a national electric vehicle plan which will help accelerate consumer adoption and domestic manufacturing of the low carbon transport in India.

The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) aims to improve national energy security, increase domestic manufacturing and tackle the environmental impacts of the automotive industry. It includes a total investment of over Rs 23,000 crore to be equally shared between the Government and the automotive industry.

Manmohan Singh expressed his fresh support for electric vehicles (EVs) at the NEMMP launch, which was attended by transport industry leaders and expert researchers. He said: "These technologies are not only more efficient but they are also cleaner. They have the potential of contributing substantially to our efforts for mitigating the adverse impact of economic development on the environment."

The Prime Minister also explained how producing electric vehicles in India will ease the nation’s reliance on imported petrol, but that hurdles still exist to widespread EV adoption which is why it is “necessary to create an eco-system where these technologies can be nurtured.” He then offered a reassuring promise of urgent action: “The Government is committed to work with industry and other stakeholders to make it happen."

Manmohan Singh concluded his speech with: “[NEMMP 2020] gives me the confidence to believe that the automotive industry, which has been at the forefront of Indian manufacturing, will be able to fully realize the potential that exists in our country for the new technologies.”

NEMMP 2020, the mission document for the NMEM that was approved in August 2012, sets out the joint Government and industry vision and targets for electric and hybrids technologies by 2020.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group commented: “The long awaited electric mobility mission plan is a welcome and important milestone in the clean revolution of India’s automotive industry. But to ensure effective scale-up of EVs, the Government must continue to funnel funding into supporting adoption by commercial fleets and get the necessary charging infrastructure in place. As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is clearly aware, the production of hybrid and electric vehicles in India is an investment that will deliver economic growth, quality jobs and a cleaner future for the nation.”

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By Clare Saxon

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