Nitin Gadkari’s big statements on flex engines, EVs and scrapping of old vehicles explained

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, addressed delegates and the Indian automotive industry stakeholders at the 62nd SIAM Annual Convention in Delhi on September 15. He spoke about the industry’s importance as the highest contributor to our national GDP and urged manufacturers to shift from being cost centric to quality centric with their R&D approach. “Those with lower budgets also want good quality/safety and the industry needs to step up,” he said.

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India

The minister spoke about India’s ambitions to become the world’s largest automotive manufacturing hub and one step towards that goal is the development of Bharat NCAP safety assessment programme for new cars. Which will make it easier to export locally produced vehicles to other countries at a larger scale. Currently, India is the largest manufacturer of two wheelers and three wheelers and exports a large amount of those vehicles.


Touching on the upcoming 27 ‘Green Field Expressways’, that will cut travel time and even offer charging lanes for electric trucks, Gadkari spoke about the problem of air pollution in the country and said, “This is a big challenge for the country, while we make more roads, pollution needs to be curbed as well. We need to discourage production and sale of diesel and petrol vehicles and research innovative alternatives.” The minister mentioned Toyota’s Hybrid Camry saloon and announced that a flex-fuel powered Camry is launching soon, that will be able to run on Ethanol.
Gadkari also spoke extensively on electric mobility and EVs with the stakeholders, he shared statistics on how overall EV sales have grown by 162 percent in the country with electric three wheeler sales recording a 75 percent increase. In terms of public transport Gadkari said, “After the initial success of CESL’s biggest tender of 5,500 electric buses for mobility as a service, the next goal is to plan a mega tender for 50,000 electric buses across the country.” He also cited the high cost and life cycle of lithium-ion based electric buses and urged manufacturers to explore the tram system of overhead power cables and develop trolley buses.

Representational image

Representational image

Speaking on the country’s current vehicle scrapping policy, the road transport and highways minister shared some details and suggestions. He said that currently there are 1.02 crore vehicles in the country that are eligible for scrapping. “While we only have 20 scrapping centres pan-India right now. We needs at least 3 scrapping centres in each districts to cater to that volume. The amount of copper aluminium and steel that will come out of the scrap can reduce cost of components by 30 percent.” Gadkari added. The minister also discussed the idea of offering discounts or incentives for those who get their vehicles scrapped and procure a scrapping certificate.

3rd from right - Nitin Gadkari with other delegates at the 62nd SIAM Annual Convention

3rd from right – Nitin Gadkari with other delegates at the 62nd SIAM Annual Convention

Overall from Nitin Gadkari’s big statements, it seems that the Indian automotive industry is heading towards some major changes and a new era. What are your thoughts on the upcoming developments, tell us in the comments below.

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