NEW DELHI: The proposal of government think tank NITI Aayog to fully transit from internal combustion engines (ICE) towards electric vehicles (EV) by 2030 has come up with resistance from within the government.
Sources in multiple ministries said issues such as coming of age of newer and more efficient technology in future, the rise of alternative fuels such as hydrogen cell, and problems with total phasing out of an industry dependant on petroleum fuel technology, would have to be weighed.
They said the government would support the use of alternate technologies and EVs to cut down India’s oil import bill rather than opting for a 10-year plan to go fully electric. Moreover, the government is also concerned over the large employment base of the automobile sector, which may go down significantly if ICE engines are phased out totally.
“We need to be technology neutral rather than dogmatic over one particular technology. Science may make solar or fuel cell powered cars cheaper tomorrow,” officials said. NITI Aayog’s proposal is that only EVs should be sold after 2030 to increase usage of clean-fuel technology and cut India’s dependency on oil imports.
The new proposal to bring in only EVs came days after the think tank had proposed switching of all vehicles below 150CC to electric by 2025, which has irked the auto industry with many manufacturers calling the proposal unrealistic and impractical.
Industrial body SIAM, which recently raised concerns on the NITI Aayog proposal to have only electric two-wheelers post 2025, recently circulated a white paper on alternative fuels in the country in which it asks the government to look at CNG, LNG, LPG, Hydrogen and biofuels like ethanol, methanol and bio-diesel as alternative fuels and roll out infrastructure with a firm plan for next five years and tentative plan for next 10 years.
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