NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the cost of electric vehicles will almost become at par with combustion engine cars in the next 3-4 years, largely owing to decline in battery price and India should be ready for this transition. Observing that India has 28 cars for every 1,000 people, much lower as compared to the US or Europe which have 980 and 850 cars for 1,000 people respectively, Kant said this means as India transits towards urbanisation the future will all be electric, shared and connected.
"We will transit towards there as the cost of a battery falls from 276 dollars per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 76 dollars per kilowatt/hour. The cost of electric vehicles will almost become at par with combustion (engine) cars in the next 3-4 years," the NITI Aayog CEO said while addressing a CII event here. Electric vehicles generally use lithium-ion batteries. He said when this happens it is important that India should have done adequate spadework that our three-wheelers, four-wheelers and our buses all become electric in due course and we are able to save a huge amount of crude oil consumption and subsequently the nearly USD 111 billion spent on its import.
"We have laid down a policy framework where in the future people will go for electric vehicles, an economic incentive has been created for people to go for this," Kant observed. He said, it was critical that as India modernises, the country creates a model of urbanisation where we are able to recycle our water, recycle our waste, where we are able to truly ensure that there is public transportation. Kant said India has made huge commitments in the Paris Accord and remains committed to reducing its total pollution by almost 35 per cent, unlike the US which has backed out of it.
"...the speed at which we are going in terms of hydro, in terms of wind energy in terms of a rooftop, we will actually be bypassing the targets that we have set for ourselves," the NITI Aayog CEO noted. He added that the government can at best be a facilitator and a catalyst and the industry's role was critical in such initiatives. "My personal view is that India's case there is a huge amount of political will and that is why Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) himself announced from the ramparts (of the Red Fort) that single-use plastic has to go out of India. We are launching a massive campaign that the prime minister has announced from October 2," Kant said.