EVs should become cheaper than traditional vehicles within three years: Amitabh Kant

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NITI Aayog CEO, Amitabh Kant said that electric vehicles should become much cheaper than combustion vehicles in three years. Kant further added that the price of battery packs of EVs is expected to fall to $76 per kilowatt hour (or unit) in three years, down from the present day $156/unit. At that point, he said, even the upfront cost of electrical vehicles will become cheaper than combustion vehicles, with the total cost of ownership already competitive. Mr Kant was speaking at the Mobility Talk Corporate Conclave at the World Sustainable Development Summit 2020, TERI’s annual flagship event being held in New Delhi.

Reaffirming national vision towards moving to clean mobility, Mr Kant said, “Given its size and scale of growth potential, Indian industry must be the biggest driver of change to make us the centre of manufacturing of EVs. There are two challenges to address, to ensure new form of urbanisation which is based on public transportation, and to ensure India doesn’t lose out among global manufactures of tomorrow.”

Representatives from the auto industry in the session welcomed the direction given by the NITI Aayog CEO, and sought clarity on pathways and policy that the Government is looking to take on EVs. They urged the Government to speedily develop a roadmap, whether to focus on hybrid or fully electric mobility, and policies that can promote indigenous research and development.

Casting his vote in favour of strengthening public transport, the NITI Aayog CEO said that it is essential that innovative and sustainable development is backed by embedding our cities with public transportation and not by private vehicles. He affirmed the push for natural gas compressed CNG-based transport for travel within cities, liquefied natural gas (LNG) for intercity, and in the long-run, a focus on hydrogen as fuel, especially for public transportation.

Speaking at the Corporate Conclave, Dr Ajay Mathur, DG, TERI, said that there is a need to decarbonise key sectors such as road economy and in the process push a transition to 100% green electricity-based mobility. “In order to move towards a shared, connected and zero emission world, and to realise the full benefits of EVs, it is important that the battery is charged with clean power and not fossil power,” he said.

There are different pathways or strategies to achieve the goal of decarbonizing the transport sector. Recently, TERI has undertaken a study about the contribution of different strategies in total carbon emissions. It was found that model shift has the maximum impact followed by efficiency improvement and electrification of vehicle fleet.

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