“The world is now in the middle of a new mobility revolution” and India has “inherent advantages” to leverage this opportunity, the PM said. Exhorting industrialists and global business leaders to create a “new mobility ecosystem” that is in “sync with nature”, Modi said India can be the best place for the rapidly evolving technology.
The PM was speaking at the first Global Mobility Summit (MOVE) organised by Niti Aayog, addressing an audience that included global business leaders such as Suzuki Motor chairman Osamu Suzuki, Toyota Motor chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, ABB chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer and Bosch’s Volkmar Denner. Mahindra & Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra, Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal and Bharat Forge chairman Baba Kalyani were among the top Indian automobile industry honchos who attended the event.
The new policy will seek to support automakers to raise production of battery-powered and alternate-fuel vehicles, as part of efforts to trim down the rising oil import bill.
The Prime Minister called the industry to invest in the manufacturing of electric vehicles and the required charging infrastructure. “Charge mobility is the way forward, we want to drive investment into batteries to smart cities to electric mobility,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s comments come in the backdrop of demand from almost all domestic and international automakers for a policy roadmap on electric vehicles so that investments can be planned.
Industry players including Suzuki and SAIC Motors president Chen Zhixin appealed to the government to come out with incentive policies and accelerate construction of infrastructure, such as charging facilities.
Modi urged people to use public transport rather than private cars to help achieve the goal of congestion-free mobility.
Unveiling several research papers which will provide a roadmap on future of mobility in India, the Prime Minister emphasised on increasing the use of public transport and focussing beyond cars to fight climate-related menace.
“My vision for the future of mobility in India is based on 7 Cs: common, connected, convenient, congestion-free, charged, clean, cutting-edge,” he said. Stating that common public transport must be the cornerstone of mobility, Modi said congestion-free mobility is critical to check economic and environmental costs.
Businessmen were impressed, though a section of the industry expected the government to announce an incentive programme for electric and alternate fuel vehicles. “He (Modi) really seems to believe in this mission.
There is the will and it is visible. This is probably one of the most seminal speeches by a global leader shared on the entire mobility ecosystem. Conviction was incredibly strong,” Mahindra said. “The Prime Minister has promised, we are going to come out with the stable policy for mobility and specially electric mobility and I am looking forward to it.”
Kalyani seconded Mahindra’s view. “He (Modi) said that we are going to come out with a very clear-cut policy; that is what industry needs. You need to know what you are making, as it has to be tested, homologated, etc. Once the policy comes, we are all set,” Kalyani said.
The two-day summit will deliberate on topics such as electrification, reinventing public transport, alternative fuels, role of data analytics in goods transport and logistics. It will be attended by union ministers including Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, CEOs and industry captains from India and abroad.