Changing from conventional two-wheelers to 100 per cent electric is "not like Aadhaar, not a software and print cards" and such transition is completely uncalled for, according to TVS Motor Co and Bajaj Auto. Strongly objecting to government think tank Niti Aayog's proposal to transition to electric vehicles (EVs) for three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers by 2025, the two companies said the policy has not been made with adequate study and diligence.
"This is not like Aadhaar, not a software and print cards. You have to set up a whole supply chain, and migrate from the current supply chain," TVS Motor Co Chairman & Managing Director Venu Srinivasan told PTI.
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 transition to electric mobility keeping in mind the 2025 deadline.
Srinivasan further said,"we have said we will take four months to come with a plan. The plans will start with one city (that has the highest number of two-wheeler population) and that too, to a percentage of one city and migrate over a period of time".
Asserting that a "black or white, zero-one change" is not possible "with 20 million vehicles, USD 15 billion in sales, one million employees", he said and added that "the whole thing is not thought through. I hope saner thoughts will prevail and people will think through the real implications of all this". When contacted for comments, Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj said "we believe 100 per cent transition is completely uncalled for".
Earlier, he had also asserted that 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. Besides, he had argued that "to target two and three wheelers but not cars etc makes it an incomplete initiative.
Srinivasan also 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 per cent of automotive pollution. Automotive contributes to 20 per cent (of overall) pollution, so we are dealing with 4 per cent pollution".
Srinivasan said Indian automotive industry has attracted huge foreign investments based on stability of policies and "one has to treat with greater care and diligence than what is being proposed". "We are dealing with the most competitive and the only industry to have really grown to that scale and competitiveness in the engineering industry," he said.