India must move fast to take leadership in electric mobility: NITI Aayog CEO

The two-wheeler segment is particularly attractive, and stakeholders must come forward to facilitate the evolution of the segment, says Amitabh Kant

The slowdown in the automobile industry is temporary and it will bounce back soon, Amitabh Kant, chief executive (CEO) of NITI Aayog, said. India cannot remain isolated from the shift to zero-emission standards, and must take the leadership in the electric vehicle revolution, he said on the sidelines of the 2020 Auto Expo. Edited excerpts from an interview:

What do you think is the fundamental reason behind the slowdown in the automotive industry?

We are witnessing a transformational shift in the mobility domain, where the world is shifting towards shared and connected forms of transport. Morgan Stanley, in its report, said India will be a key driver of shared, connected and zero-emission mobility. The report also states that nearly 35% of miles travelled in India, by 2030, would be shared. Cities across the world are also grappling with high levels of congestion and are increasingly promoting the use of public transport by citizens. Any changes in the mobility landscape should be viewed through this prism. The slowdown is only temporary. The automobile sector will bounce back in a big way.

Now that the government has said there is no deadline for transition to electric mobility, what is the roadmap towards the shift? Do you think comments such as banning two-wheelers below 150cc has created confusion in the market and hurt sentiments?

The shift towards zero-emission mobility is an inevitable transition happening across the world, and India cannot remain insulated from it. With the growing focus on climate change and global warming, it is essential that India must move fast and take a leadership position in the global electric mobility revolution. India currently is home to some of the most polluted cities of the world and automobiles, which contribute to nearly 30% of the pollution, must shift towards zero-emission mobility.


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