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EVs will be cheaper than combustion vehicles in 3 years: Amitabh Kant

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NEW DELHI: Electric vehicles will become cheaper than combustion vehicles in three years as the price of battery packs of EVs is expected to fall by almost 51 per cent per unit, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Thursday.

Kant was speaking at the Mobility Talk Corporate Conclave at the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2020, TERI's annual flagship event being held in the capital.

"Electric vehicles will become much cheaper than combustion vehicles in three years. The price of battery packs of EVs is expected to fall to USD 76 per kilowatt hour (or unit) in three years, down from the present-day USD 156 per unit," he said.

Reaffirming the national vision towards moving to clean mobility, Kant said, given its size and scale of growth potential, Indian industry must be the biggest driver of change to make the country the centre for manufacturing EVs.

"There are two challenges to address: to ensure new form of urbanisation which is based on public transportation, and to ensure India doesn't lose out among global manufactures of tomorrow," Kant said.

Representatives from the auto industry in the session welcomed the direction given by the NITI Aayog CEO, and sought clarity on pathways and policy that the government is looking to take on EVs.

They urged the government to quickly develop a road map, whether to focus on hybrid or fully electric mobility, and policies that can promote indigenous research and development.

Casting his vote in favour of strengthening public transport, Kant said it is essential that innovative and sustainable development is backed by embedding the cities with public transportation and not by private vehicles.

He also stressed on the use of CNG-based transport for travel within cities, liquefied natural gas (LNG) for intercity, and in the long-run, a focus on hydrogen as fuel, especially for public transport.

TERI DG Ajay Mathur said there is a need to decarbonise key sectors such as road economy and in the process push a transition to 100 per cent green electricity-based mobility.

"In order to move towards a shared, connected and zero-emission world, and to realise the full benefits of EVs, it is important that the battery is charged with clean power and not fossil power," he said.