India on verge of becoming number one electric vehicle maker: Nitin Gadkari
Days after he urged world's largest electric vehicle maker Tesla to not drag its feet on setting up its manufacturing facilities in India, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said that India will soon be the biggest manufacturing hub of electric vehicles in the world.
Speaking at an event on Sunday, Gadkari said, "India is moving ahead towards making electric vehicles. In due course of time we will be the number one electric vehicle(EV) maker in the world. All reputed brands are present in India."
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Gadkari clarified his claims with the fact that by the end of this year India will start producing lithium-ion batteries on its own, one of the key components for the EV industry. Recently Karnataka's Deputy Chief Minister Dr CN Ashwatha Narayana had said that the state will be home to at least two such manufacturing facilities in coming days.
"India has got tremendous capability for making green power... Within six months, I am confident that we will be in position to make 100 per cent lithium-ion battery in India, there is no shortage of lithium," said Gadkari.
Gadkari said that it is important to look for an efficient and alternative mode of energy to reduce impact on the economy. He reminded that India's crude oil imports is most likely to double from ₹8 lakh crore currently within the next five years. He also asserted that e-mobility will become one of the most important tool to develop pollution-free transport in India.
(Also read: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asks Tesla to start production in India as soon as possible)
Gadkari said work is in progress to make electric vehicles a viable option for everyone. While currently an electric vehicle costs much more than the ICE vehicles run on conventional fuel like petrol or diesel, Gadkari assured that the price of EVs will come down drastically within two years. He claimed that electric vehicles will cost as much as a petrol or a diesel car in coming days. But he also emphasised that the carmakers should not compromise on the quality of electric vehicles manufactured in India.