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It's Impossible to Have an All-Electric Fleet in India by 2030: Toyota Kirloskar Motor

On India's aggressive push towards e-mobility, vice chairman and whole-time director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), Shekar Viswanathan said it is impossible to have an all-electric fleet in India by 2030.

PTI

Updated:September 23, 2017, 3:46 PM IST
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It's Impossible to Have an All-Electric Fleet in India by 2030: Toyota Kirloskar Motor
Toyota Logo. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)
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With the idea of e-vehicle picking up with Indians, 30 percent of the new vehicles on the roads in the country by 2030 are likely to be electric-driven, says a senior automobile industry executive. On India's aggressive push towards e-mobility, vice chairman and whole-time director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), Shekar Viswanathan said it is impossible to have an all-electric fleet in India by 2030. TKM is a joint venture between the Japanese auto major and Kirloskar Group.

"Moving to electric vehicles is a good move. After all you must diversify the transport sector, but to say that it should be 100 percent electric, I think, is stretching the limits of credibility. I think it's impractical; it is not possible," Viswanathan told PTI. "I don't think 100 percent (switch-over) will happen. I think it will be more like 30 percent by 2030 and maybe higher percentage by 2040," he said.

The government should be technology-agnostic as far as promotion of EVs (electric vehicles) are concerned, he said. "If electric vehicles fail, then they will be crippling the transport sector. If electric vehicles succeed, as I think they will, but their success can only be to the extent of 30 percent (by 2030), which I think itself is a huge success," according to Viswanathan.

He does not see the government's push towards EVs as a disruption to the auto industry. "Electric vehicles have been there even in the earlier century but the advent of oil meant that electric did not gain much prominence. Again in the 1970s and 1980s, electric came up but it went down again. This time around I think, it will succeed and it will have some permanence only because battery technology has improved," he said.

But he also expressed the view that there is no need for the government to give further economic incentive to nudge the industry to go electric. "They have already given a huge incentive to electric vehicles by way of the tax break. They have given a huge disincentive to diesel and petrol vehicles. What more needs to be done?"

"12 percent (Goods and Services Tax) for electric vehicles versus 43 percent (GST) for hybrids...they have already given a huge advantage. Already an economic incentive has been given and that's good enough," Viswanathan said.

Building charging (stations) infrastructure in the country would take time, Viswanathan said. "Theoretically, professors can talk, academics can talk, theoretically many things are possible but in practice to change consumer behavior is going to be very difficult," he said.

"I think we should be leaders (in the world in the EV space, and not followers) but we should be practical to understand that you can't jump to 100 percent (electric by 2030), I think it's a flawed vision," he said.

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