The government’s scheme would lead to a fresh investment of more than Rs 42,500 crore and the creation of additional 7.5 lakh jobs in the sector.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said the government is committed to shifting public transport and logistics to 100 per cent green and clean sources of energy.
Addressing a symposium on International Automotive Technology, he said the national hydrogen mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to develop hydrogen technologies for the benefit of the mobility sector and make India the leader in the production and usage of green hydrogen. He said green hydrogen is termed as the fuel of the future and it is the only fuel that can help us achieve the mission of zero carbon emissions.
India is the third-largest user of transport automobiles in the world but 70% of its transport energy need is fulfilled by importing fossil fuels. According to Gadkari, "The aim is to gradually shift to fuels, which are import substitutes, cost effective, indigenous and pollution free,” adding that this includes biofuels, ethanol blends as well as hybrid EVs and hydrogen fuel cells.
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The government will also stick firmly to its 2022 deadline for implementing tighter fuel efficiency norms also known as Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE), Gadkari said, which could push automakers to adopt cleaner fuels to meet the new target.
"The government is firm on adhering to the CAFE regulation, where automakers are required to keep average CO2 emission less than 130 grams per kilometre till 2022 and below 120 grams per kilometer thereafter," he said.
Many Indian automakers including India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki have sought delays for implementation of stricter emission rules.
Gadkari said India's automobile sector was the pride of the country and he was sure that it would take India's manufacturing towards new heights.
The Minister said the recently-launched Production Linked Incentive scheme aims to boost 'advanced automotive technology products' in the Indian auto sector will help to lower fossil fuel emissions.
Gadkari said the government expects the scheme would lead to a fresh investment of more than Rs 42,500 crore and the creation of additional 7.5 lakh jobs in the sector.
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Referring to public transport, he said the need of the hour is to develop import substitute, cost-effective, pollution-free, and indigenous mobility solutions for India and dependence on imported crude oil needs to be reduced.
"We are also planning to introduce flex-fuel vehicles which allow operation of the vehicles on 100 per cent ethanol and petrol," he said.
He said Flex engine-based vehicles are already running in the USA, Brazil, and Canada.
According to an official release, the minister said technology is readily available and it is just a matter of time to take that leap that will transform the transport landscape of India forever.
He said safety on Indian roads needs improvement as every year about 1.5 lakh people die on Indian roads in almost 5 lakh accidents.
The minister said the concept of achieving zero accidents and zero loss of life is being adopted in India, similar to that in the European countries.
In a separate development the government has also asked Coal India to diversify its interests to areas such as electric vehicles and charging stations, according to an agenda document on the ministry's website.
"Coal India must diversify its business and must explore prospects in sunrise industries electric charging pods, electric vehicles etc," the coal ministry said in a document titled "Ministry of Coal's agenda for 2021-22".
Coal India is the world's largest coal mining company by production and accounts for over 80% of India's output of the fuel.
The federal government-controlled miner has already announced plans to invest in solar wafer manufacturing and power generation, coal gasification, extraction of coal bed methane and setting up aluminium smelters.
India has also asked the miner to consider participating in foreign tenders seeking coal after meeting domestic demand. "Traders/coal consumers of the neighboring countries can also participate in the Special Spot e-auction / Spot e-auction windows of Coal India," the document read.
- ANI & Reuters