Humans have evolved to become the highest travelled species on Earth. We started in Africa and slowly covered the whole planet. For humans, travelling is crucial; be if for procuring food, doing work, acquiring knowledge or entertainment. In ancient times, travelling was done either on foot, on horseback or on other animals. After the industrial revolution, it was time for mechanical engines. Cars captured most of our roads and now we are surrounded by vehicles everywhere. However, the problem with the post-industrial revolution travelling is that it uses up fossil fuels and excrete loads of poisonous and greenhouse gases. Over the past 2 centuries, it has degraded the earth’s atmosphere beyond repair. If significant steps are not taken right now, then the survival of the human species would be unimaginable in the coming century.
Electric mobility is the solution for most of the issues. It is crucial for the transformation of the way humans travel and will travel in future. Replacing fossil fuels with electricity is beneficial as it is non-polluting. However, we need to produce electricity through renewable sources for that. But anyway, it will make the residential places a lot more pollution-free than it is today. It is the best way forward for and people all over the world are vouching for it.
Two well-known personalities and Padma Awardees in India recently wrote a book describing the ways as to how we can develop sustainably especially with the help of electronics mobility. The book launch event was graced by the presence of veterans in the field such as Prof. Amitabh Mallik, Mr. Arun Firodiya, Mr. Ravi Pandit, Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar. Apart from them, His Excellency Dr. Ron Malka, Ambassador, Embassy of Israel in India was also present for a short time. The panel discussion was chaired by Dr. S. B. Mujumdar. ReviewTech asked some questions to the panel during the conference and here is the whole story.
1. Are you looking forward to working with any other foreign companies?
- Yes, as long as it benefits the country. The mutual benefit will be the best way.
2. Do you want to have technical cooperation or financial cooperation with companies around the world?
- India lacks technological prowess in terms of e-vehicles. There is a lack of funds as well. Therefore, the scope of both types of cooperation is high in the country.
3. Will the Indian public adapt to electric vehicles? If yes, what will be the time period for the same?
- Yes, Indians are open to new technologies. The time period cannot be commented upon at the moment.
4. What are the difficulties of promoting electric vehicles in India?
- Lack of funds and lack of stability in the government policies
5. If you want to promote electric motorcycles, what kind of help do you expect from the government?
- Very little to none. The government is not very sure of the policies. The private sector has to take initiatives. The chance of getting support from the government once you start is very high.
6. Will there be an outbreak of growth in the next few years in the field of electric vehicles?
- Yes, only if it is a viable option compared to petrol vehicles.
Discussion on the topic during the book launch – ‘Leapfrogging to Pole-Vaulting’
The book ‘Leapfrogging to Pole-Vaulting’ is about using sustainable methods to reach developmental targets. Most people consider that our competition is with China but the book shows us that it is not about overtaking China, rather making Earth a better paradise.
‘ASSURED’ is a method described in the book that tells us how we can move towards a better and sustainable future using the resources in a more mindful manner. India can pole-vault through digitization and is crucial to India’s quest. It is visible in the current scenario as well. Digitisation can connect people to people and that is how they are empowered. It is due to digitalization that small people are gaining popularity through publicity.
Advertising is losing value in modern times. The sales generated through advertising are going down as per Dr Raghunath Mashelkar. He said that Social Media is the new path and it has become important.
He said, “America has money, Israel has the technology and India has a market. This combination is amazing and has proved to be extremely successful in the past.
Across the world, there are 6 billion people now who want to learn English and India can teach them the language because we are good at it. In the Healthcare sector too, there is a huge opportunity. There are 1 billion old people. The number is increasing – will become 3 billion. They require healthcare. The availability of talent in India can help.
AI will not take away jobs as opportunities will open up. Cultural things can take advantage of. Swachh Bharat (Clean India) will attract tourists and revenue will increase. In this, electric transport will play a crucial role. The reason India has fewer visitors is due to the high levels of pollution and garbage in the country. If it is cleaned up, there can be a 10X growth.
Ravi Pandit’s Comments on India’s E-mobility scenario
Indian ministers have clearly stated that they do not have adequate funds to invest in electronic vehicles and their policies. Thus, India has a huge need for funds. The funds are most welcome from either local or foreign corporations.
There is a good scope of technology transfer. India, due to lack of investment in research and development, lacks technological capabilities too. It has been proved in the past that Indians have great capabilities when it comes to developing affordable technologies. It has been proved in space technologies. Similarly, the expert believes that funding from private sources will help develop cheap technologies in the EV scenario as well.
Ravi Pandit claims that responsible policy-making needs to be respected. The market is very important and the way it reacts to the idea of EVs running on the Indian streets. Being over-dependent on the government for funds will lead us nowhere. The initiatives need to be future proof.
“You have to look what market can do instead of depending on government money” – union minister on e-mobility future. Responsible policy-making has to be respected and that is common everywhere. The future prospects look bright for India and the EV market.