Sustainability is taking centre stage in India’s auto industry, with the sector and the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) adopting a transformative path to growth, profitability and success. The industry will work in close association with the Government through the six pillars of javik pahal (biofuel), vidyutikaran (electrification), gas gatisheelta (gaseous fuels), harit hydrogen (green hydrogen), chakriyata (recycling) and finally surakshit safar (safe journey).
As the way ahead for the industry, the six pronged strategy comes amidst Prime Minister Narendra Modi setting the goal of transforming the industry to the world’s leading automobile hub by expeditiously increasing the share of green technologies, such as biofuels, electric and hydrogen. “Higher use of biofuels will lead to aligning the auto industry’s approach with global biofuel alliance announced during the G20,” Modi said in his message for the 63rd SIAM Annual Convention.
The industry has its own urgency. As Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways pointed out, in 2014, the global automobile sector was ranked 7th, but has now climbed to the 3rd position. The industry’s efforts towards decarbonization through introduction of vehicles with wide range of powertrain technologies is seen as key to India achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 and reducing 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030. Vinod Aggarwal, President of SIAM and Managing Director & CEO of Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles underscores the imperative for sustainable mobility to secure a better tomorrow. “Over the past two years, we’ve witnessed remarkable growth, with the industry’s current size standing at INR 12.46 lakh crores, including exports worth INR 3 lakh crore,” said Aggarwal.
In that context, India is witnessing a remarkable transition towards electric vehicles (EVs), as part of the sustainable roadmap, aligning the industry with global benchmarks and Government has also extended the PLI scheme by another year to enable the auto industry reap benefits of the incentives being provided for manufacturing advanced automotive technologies. However, policymakers want that, given the ever increasing incentives being provided by Government compared to phasing down of incentives in China, UK and Europe, Indian companies should become global leaders in electric. Launch of campaigns on lowering the total cost of ownership of EVs will automatically propel higher offtake of EVs.
For that, believes Aggarwal, learnings from global strategies needs to be combined with examining their applicability in India.
“This includes embracing other powertrains, including eco-friendly flexi fuels and making vehicles compliant to it,” says Aggarwal.
The other important plank under is increased localization
and harnessing export potential of the Indian auto industry. Piyush Goyal Minister of Commerce and Industry wants encouragement for significant investment in electronic components and products in India, boosting R&D within the nation, nurturing domestic industries and reducing dependence on imports.