Subsidising EVs alone will not help reduce carbon footprint in India: Maruti Suzuki chairman Bhargava

GANDHINAGAR: Amidst an ongoing push for electric vehicles (EVs) in India, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) chairman RC Bhargava said that subsidising them alone will not help reduce India’s carbon footprint. He underlined the need for incentivising other alternate fuels along with the EVs.
“Let’s push electric vehicles and customers must buy them. However, if we want to reduce our carbon footprint, other technologies and fuels also must be used. Electricity alone will not do the job in India,” said Bhargava during a media interaction in Gandhinagar, organised on the sidelines of the commemoration of 40 years of Suzuki’s presence in India.
“At present, only electric vehicles are being incentivised. The government needs to encourage all alternate fuels over petrol. Petrol and diesel should not be encouraged. Other variants such as CNG, hybrids and ethanol, which are at intermediate stages, must be encouraged and incentivised too,” he added.
He also said that the pace of acceptance of EVs in India will be slower than other countries. “Even though EVs will grow in this market every year, overall acceptance will be at a slower pace due to many variables. Globally everyone is going electric. In context of the Indian market and the way it is panned out in terms of a high proportion of two wheelers, small cars and a varied purchasing power of customers, the pace of acceptance of electric cars in India will be slower than more affluent countries,” said Bhargava.
Suzuki Motor Corporation, the parent firm of MSIL, is set to invest Rs 10,445 crore in Gujarat by 2026.
Bhargava also discussed at length the reducing affordability of cars and shrinking demand for the entry-level ones. “The demand for entry-level vehicles is under stress. While the small car market is getting squeezed, the upper market is growing better, and this isn’t a pleasant situation. We’ve seen that certain regulations have had an adverse impact on the bottom end of the market. One needs measures that increase not just safety but costs too. There are a large number of customers with different purchasing power. How to balance this to get the right mix is a difficult matter,” he explained.
According to the MSIL chairman, inclusive economic growth is necessary for people’s income to rise, which in turn can address affordability concerns. “Affordability and shrinking of the entry-level market is a temporary setback. People’s income must rise. The only hope here is that the economic growth will pick up. If we keep growing at 8 per cent a year, the segment will do well,” Bhargava added in his concluding remarks.

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