Mumbai/New Delhi: Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Co, India’s big three two-wheeler makers, on Monday hit out at NITI Aayog’s plan to push for 100% electric vehicle, saying such a transition is completely uncalled for and could jeopardise the industry.
Arguing that changing from conventional two-wheelers to 100% electric is “not like Aadhaar, not software and print cards”, the companies said concerns of all stakeholders must be taken into consideration instead of imposing the adoption of EVs. “This is not like Aadhaar, not software and print cards. You have to set up a whole supply chain, and migrate from the current supply chain,” TVS Motor chairman and managing director Venu Srinivasan said. He said targeting “two- and three-wheelers, but not cars, makes it an incomplete initiative”.
The TVS head asserted that “changing to batteries running on thermal power will not reduce one iota of pollution”. Right now, he said, “The two-wheeler contribute to 20% of automotive pollution”.
Hero MotoCorp echoed the TVS concern to say it was “deeply concerned by the potential repercussions of NITI’s approach of completely banning two-wheelers up to 150cc that are powered by Internal Combustion Engines”.
Last week, NITI Aayog had asked auto industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) along with conventional two-and three-wheeler makers to suggest within two weeks, concrete steps towards a transition to electric mobility keeping in mind the 2025 deadline.
Hero MotoCorp said the move by NITI Aayog is being at a time “when two-wheelers manufactured in India will have the world’s cleanest emissions, along with the world’s highest fuel-efficiencies, effective 1 April 2020”.
“Instead of imposing the adoption of EVs (electric vehicles), it would be ideal to have a healthy mix of policy, market dynamics, and customer acceptability,” the country’s largest two-wheeler maker said. Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj agreed with the TVS head: “We believe 100% transition is completely uncalled for”.
Earlier, Bajaj had said the move was impractical and ill-timed, considering the scale involved when stakeholders do not have “any meaningful experience with any of the pieces of the EV puzzle” and that too a date so close to BSVI implementation.