New Delhi, Sept 7 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday pitched for investments in manufacturing of electric vehicles and smart charging facilities as he emphasised that better mobility can boost growth.
Asserting that mobility powered by clean energy is the most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change, he said the focus must go beyond cars to other vehicles such as scooters and rickshaws.
“Congestion-free mobility is critical to check the economic and environmental costs of congestion,” he said addressing the Global Mobility Summit ‘MOVE’ here.
Noting that mobility is a key driver of the economy, the Prime Minister said better mobility reduces the burden of travel and transportation and can boost economic growth.
“It is already a major employer and can create the next generation of jobs,” he said. Common public transport must be the cornerstone of mobility initiatives, Modi said, adding that “clean mobility powered by clean energy is our most powerful weapon in our fight against climate change”.
With CEOs of global auto majors in attendance, Modi said the government is keen on “investments across the value chain from batteries to smart charging to electric vehicle manufacturing”.
The government is targeting electric vehicles to account for 15 per cent of all vehicles sales in five years in a bid to curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. An estimated 2,000 electric vehicles were sold last year.
“My vision for the future of mobility in India is based on 7 Cs — Common, Connected, Convenient, Congestion-free, Charged, Clean and Cutting Edge,” he said.
While stressing on the need to widely use common public transport to drive mobility initiatives, the Prime Minister said the focus must also go beyond cars to other vehicles.
“We must leverage the full potential for vehicle pooling to improve private vehicle utilisation… Convenient mobility means safe, affordable and accessible for all sections of the society,” he said.
It must be ensured that public transport is preferred to private modes of travel as it would result in fewer traffic jams and lower levels of stress for commuters, Modi said.
“We should champion the idea of ‘clean kilometres’,” he said. According to him, Indian entrepreneurs and manufacturers are now poised to develop and deploy break-through battery technology that would mean a pollution-free clean drive, leading to clean air and better living standards for people.
“Charged mobility is the way forward,” he said. Connected mobility implies integration of geographies as well as modes of transport. The Internet-enabled connected sharing economy is emerging as the fulcrum of mobility, the Prime Minister said.
Listing out his government’s initiatives, Modi said the pace of construction of highways has doubled, rural road-building programme re-energised, fuel efficient and cleaner fuel vehicles are being promoted and low-cost air connectivity in under-served regions is being developed.
“Indeed, India is on the MOVE: Our economy is on the MOVE. We are the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Our cities and towns are on the MOVE. We are building 100 smart cities. Our infrastructure is on the MOVE. We are speedily building roads, airports, rail lines and ports,” he said.
Further, the Prime Minister said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which from July 1 last year amalgamated over a dozen centre and state levies, has helped to rationalise supply chains and warehouse networks.
“Our reforms are on the MOVE. We have made India an easier place to do business,” he said.
“Our lives are on the MOVE. Families are getting homes, toilets, LPG cylinders, bank accounts and loans. Our youth are on the MOVE. We are fast emerging as the start-up hub of the world. India is MOVING ahead with new energy, urgency, and purpose,” Modi said.