India’s Prime Minister announced a national electric vehicle plan last week with a target of 6-7 million vehicles sold by 2020.
That would save about 2.5 million ton of liquid fuels and lower emissions from vehicles by 1.5%.
Under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, government and the automotive industry will split $4.2 billion in investments to increase domestic manufacturing and incentivize sales of hybrid and electric vehicles in India.
"At present, significant barriers exist for faster adoption of the new electric mobility technologies by consumers. It is, therefore, necessary to create an eco-system whereby these technologies can be nurtured. The government is committed to work with industry and other stakeholders to make it happen," says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The plan was developed in concert with the automotive industry. India’s government will facilitate automotive research and development and put in place charging infrastructure, and industry will be responsible for developing products and creating a manufacturing ecosystem.
Besides being "a very important milestone in our country’s efforts for a cleaner and greener transport system for the future," PM Singh pointed to the fact that India imports 80% of the petroleum used in the country.
"High international prices of oil contribute significantly to India’s import bills, to our trade deficit, and also if I may say so in the world of rising energy prices, to inflation, thus putting a big strain on our economy. It is, therefore, very important that we make all possible efforts to reduce the transport sector’s dependence on oil.
"These technologies are not only more efficient but they are also cleaner. They have the potential of contributing substantially to our efforts for mitigating the adverse impact of economic development on the environment. Electric and hybrid vehicles have a significantly lower level of emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions, which is one of the major contributors to global warming and to processes of climate change."
As the details of the plan are worked out, he also wants "far greater focus to the development of public transport using energy efficient and alternative energy technologies."
"Given our population size and urban densities, public transport should be given greater priority than private transport. In our country, the primary mode of daily commuting should be a high quality energy efficient public transport system."