Once EVs are fully operational in India, then subsidiary infrastructure will also develop: Nitin Gadkari at WION's EMobility Summit

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Oct 01, 2019, 08:18 PM IST


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Nitin Gadkari speaking at WION's EMobility Summit said that there should be coordination between the EV manufacturers and the charging station companies.

India's minister of road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, speaking at WION's EMobility Summit said that the government is dedicated to developing an import substitute, cost-effective, pollution-free and indigenous fuel option.

Here are the Excerpts from WION's EMobility Summit:

Nitin Gadkari: There should be coordination between the manufacturer and the charging station companies. New technology comes every day, and the updation continues. What we have is according to our standards and Niti Ayog worked on it. We have a testing centre in Pune and we follow the technologies which are most successful in the world. This technology is its infancy and through the transit period, we will get the solution of these problems.

Naveen Munjal, Managing Director at Hero Electric: The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME2 Scheme) has become a complete disaster for Electric vehicle industry because the government has determined that you have to have certain range and speed of the vehicle in order to qualify for FAME2.  Worldwide countries are trying to reduce the speed of vehicles and India is going another way around and for more range and speed we need more batteries and due to that promotion government gives you more subsidy if you use more batteries. We want this FAME2 to be changed.

The second thing is localisation, "Make in India" should be in phases. Due to the lack of battery manufacturing and other technology, it's tough to create volume.

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Nitin Gadkari: This is a transit period when businesses face obstacles. Once the EVs are fully operational in India then the subsidiary infrastructure will develop itself. 

First, make a product, then the volume will appear. Without production, even god can't assure volume.

Three departments deal with it, the subsidy department is with heavy industries, rules and regulation are with the transport department and Neeti Ayog is taking interest in it. The Niti Ayog should be consulted. Both our ministery and the Niti Ayog will help you and they will resolve your problems.

This is very clear that the country will develop an import substitute, cost-effective, pollution-free and indigenous fuel option.

Pankaj Gupta, Managing Director of Polaris India Pvt Ltd: Sir, you said that we have a deficit of Rs 7 lakh crores because of fossil fuels. If we focus on electric, we know that China has established full control over lithium, so that is why China is taking full benefit of it. Happy to hear that we're opening a new research centre. In Vedic Shashtra, we hear of Viman Shastra, could we research on the fuel used by these aircraft?

Nitin Gadkari: This is my passion and I have been working on this for the past 12 years. I recycled the toilet water in my city seven years ago for Rs 180 crores. That was my brain project. The 650-ton sludge from that water, along with fish and organic waste from fruit and vegetable market.

From that we take out the methane, separate the CO2, and on that bio CNG, we are going to run 400 buses, 150 cars, and 100 trucks in Nagpur. I will inaugurate this project in a month or two.

We have already converted 80 buses. Then I will run tractors on it. Since I work on green power, I went to Mother Dairy and brought Napier grass for fodder.

One day I told my engineer that this Napier grass should be tested because there are two hundred tons of it on 1 acre. I asked him to take out its calorific value. When there was 60 per cent moisture, and if we dry it for one day, the moisture will reduce to 40 per cent. Now, I have decided to make six districts diesel-free. 

I'm a man of my word. I bought cutting machines from 5-6 companies and making it compact is really hard, and four days later I supplied it for making green power.

There is 4000-ton coal with a calorific value of 3600, so if we get Napier grass for Rs 2500 a ton, and if we use that then farmers will get cheaper fuel. In a 2 acre field, a farmer will earn Rs 2 lakhs. I'm going to put 200 Napier grass into the biodigester.

Then the IIT people told me that 3 ton of Napier grass is giving 1 ton of bioenergy. One kilo bio CNG costs Rs 55, its calorific value is equal to one litre of diesel and it costs Rs 85.

Our Corporation's yearly loss adds up to Rs 6 crores and I have challenged that in one year we cannot incur losses. New innovations deserve to be shown. I had been talking about ethanol for 12 years and people used to laugh at me, but now everybody is talking about ethanol. But the costs will skyrocket from Rs 4500-5000 crores to 50000 crores. This established the ethanol industry, and now we have moved on to biodiesel.

I give the diesel to my farmers for Rs 5 cheaper per litre which can be used for energy towers attached to generators, then came bio CNG. I have built 150 biodigesters along the Ganga, and I gave them to petroleum companies for free, prepare bioenergy and run transportation with it. Why import when we can do it ourself, and the pollution level will also go down. Based on my experience I have decided to free six big districts of diesel in five years.

I called Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath to our agro-vision and we powered a tractor with bio CNG, we bought a cylinder which had a high import duty because of its weight, so too many problems with it. Nobody gives as many headaches as me to the Petrol ministry, I keep asking them, "why haven't you done this?" 

I feel farmers will really benefit from it. If Rs 2 lakh crore goes into the economy, imagine the number of jobs that will sprout.

Poverty will also be alleviated. The MDs of Bajaj and TVS are very young. I told them that I will work with them on only one condition - that you will launch ethanol bikes and auto-rickshaws, and they both did it.

Sudarshan Venu of TVS did a really good job. I was the one who launched their bike. I believe that the word "impossible" itself says "it's possible".

I speak out of the box and that is why many don't believe me. Five years from now, all of you will also begin to believe me. It will take some time but we should pursue it.