The government of India has just approved a four billion dollar plan to support the development of its of electric and hybrid car industry.
They have stated that this is in accordance with their goal to produce and sell six million EVs by the year 2020.
While India’s EV industry is a relative newcomer to the world market, the country already has an impressive track record when it comes to producing low-emission vehicles.
It is understood that the industry will be encouraged to concentrate on low-cost vehicles and that many of them will be 2-seaters in the mold of the highly successful Renault Twizy (image above).
The challenge, according to a government spokesman, will be to end up with an affordable vehicle.
The news comes hot on the heels of a recent announcement from the government of China that they aim to have half a million new-generation electric vehicles on their roads by just 2015.
The Indian government’s announcement has been welcomed by its fledgling industry players who suffered when a previous grant system (worth about $1,800 per vehicle) was removed in April.
“The focus of electric vehicles should not be restricted to two-wheelers and cars. It should be extended to buses, LRTs and all other modes of urban public transport.” (India’s urban development minister, Kamal Nath)
“Free electric two-wheelers could be given to college students for their achievements to popularize the new technology.” (Heavy industries minister, Praful Patel).
“Electric vehicles have gained importance considering the road transport sector guzzles almost 80% of India’s crude oil consumption. Estimates suggest that per second consumption of crude oil in India was 36 barrel in 2010 or 2,165 barrels per minute. Moreover, import of crude oil is likely to increase from 87% in 2010 to 92% in 2020 in India.” (Dipak Kumar Dash, The Times Of India).