Nitin Gadkari says India can become No. 1 EV maker, J&K reserves hold key

India recently overtook Japan as the world's third-largest vehicle market, only behind China and the US now.
File photo of an electric car being plugged in for a charge. (REUTERS)
File photo of an electric car being plugged in for a charge.

Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is confident India can emerge as the biggest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing hub in the world. Pointing to the recently discovered lithium-ion reserves in Jammu and Kashmir, Gadkari underlined that there is enormous potential for a big acceleration towards EV manufacturing here.

Gadkari, speaking at an event organized by Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi, explained that by reducing imports of lithium in the times to come, India has the potential to emerge as a strong EV player. “Every year, we import 1,200 tonnes of lithium. Now, in Jammu and Kashmir, we got lithium. (If) we can use this lithium ion, we will be the number one automobile manufacturing country in the world," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

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India recently overtook Japan as the world's third-largest vehicle market, only behind China and the US now. Gadkari says that the Indian automobile industry is worth around $7.5 lakh crore. With the discovery of around 5.9 million tonne of lithium which is a key component in manufacturing of EVs, India also has the potential to accelerate its ambitions of zero-emission mobility. Additionally, officials confirm that the lithium available in J&K is of a high grade.

India still has a fair distance to go before it can close in on the Chinese and American automotive market. China is also the world's largest EV market with a plethora of local and global players fighting for every inch of space available. Germany, the US and France are some of the other big EV players. In terms of highest share of electric cars, Norway finds a place at the top.

First Published Date: 24 Mar 2023, 18:10 PM IST
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