Auto firms bullish on electric vehicles after government plan

September 6th, 2012 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Days after the government announced a Rs.23,000 crore plan for promotion of electric and hybrid vehicles automobile majors Thursday unveiled their plans in the segment.

Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp said that it will go ahead and develop its hybrid 100 cc scooter, Leap, that it showcased during the Delhi Auto Expo held earlier this year.

“We are very much going to go for the full development of that product (Leap). It is on our drawing board. We will take technical assistance from our technology partner EBR (Erik Buell Racing),” Pawan Munjal, managing director, Hero MotoCorp told reporters here on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Hybrid vehicles can run on either conventional or non-conventional energy sources.

Automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra said that it is also developing electric vehicle products that will soon be launched in India including the Mahindra Reva NXR.

Apart from the Reva brand the company is also looking at powering its own range with electric technology, including products from South Korean firm Ssanyong’s stable.

The government had, on Aug 29, approved a project for the promotion of environmentally-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles, at a total cost of Rs.23,000 crore ($4 billion) to be invested over a period of eight years.

The National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) adopted the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP 2020), which is a vision document that envisages promotion of electric and hybrid vehicles.

The plan calls for state help that includes provisions for setting up of manufacturing units, acquisition of technologies, setting up of infrastructure and demand creation.

The document envisages penetration of 60-70 lakh electric and hybrid vehicles, including passenger cars, two-wheelers, trucks and three-wheelers by 2020.

Currently electric and hybrid vehicles form less than one percent of the overall 17 million units per annum automobile market in the country.

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