India is making a big push for electric vehicles, signaling a turning point in its clean energy policy.
In 2017, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari shocked the automobile industry (and the world) when he announced that he intended for India to move to 100% electric cars by 2030. “I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you. I will bulldoze it,” he said at an industry conference.
That was an ambitious target given that even the UK and France were hoping to phase out conventional combustion-engine cars only by 2040.
Gadkari and his Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP-led government eventually diluted their plans for electric passenger cars - from 100% the target is now down to 30%.
A pushback by the industry and the fear of job losses were among the reasons for the government to do so.
The government has now decided to focus on the segment below cars: two-wheelers, where sales are much higher, and three-wheelers (largely auto-rickshaws).