Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari says there are 3 million registered EVs in India and the country's EV market is expected to grow to 10 million units in annual sales by 2030 and create 50 million jobs.
There has been a 300% rise in EV sales in 2022 and the market potential is expected to reach $266 billion by 2030, he says, adding that India has 400 EV start-ups.
Pollution is one of the biggest problems in India, Gadkari says at a conference on the safety of electric vehicles in Delhi. "Road transport in India accounts for 40% of CO2 emissions," he says.
To enhance the safety of electric vehicles, Gadkari says an expert committee including members from ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) was constituted after the country witnessed 30 fire incidents involving electric two-wheelers. "Battery safety standards were successfully revised," he says.
In 2022, U.S. companies invested $1 billion in Indian EV companies, according to Gadkari. Major US investors include Rivian, Lucid, Fisker and discussions with Tesla are going on, the Union minister says.
"US companies are welcome to set up EV manufacturing facilities for the entire EV segment in India," he says. "India is an early-stage EV market with high growth potential. There is also potential for technology transfer and standards harmonisation." On EV battery management, Gadkari says the Lithium-ion battery recycling market will reach $7 billion by 2030.
India is the third largest passenger vehicle market in the world after the U.S. and China. The Centre aims to make it the number one market, says Gadkari.
The automobile industry is one of the largest employers and exporters in India. The country's auto industry is growing at 9.91% and the size of this industry is estimated at $150 billion, says Gadkari. "The overall GDP contribution is 6.5% while its contribution to manufacturing is 49%," he says.
The auto sector has created 40 million direct and indirect jobs so far, the Union minister says, adding that India is also the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and three-wheelers.
Gadkari will launch Toyota's flexible-fuel vehicle on August 29. "I am going to launch a flex-fuel car Toyota Camry which will run on 100% bioethanol," he says. "The petrol rate is ₹120 per litre and ethanol is ₹60 per litre. For this car, the average mileage is coming at 15-20 kilometres per litre," says Gadkari.
The minister says the country is planning to develop electric highways. These highways will be powered by solar energy and this will facilitate charging of heavy-duty trucks and buses. "I have a meeting with Tatas to make an electric highway from Delhi to Jaipur," he says.