Red Flag: Toyota Sceptical of Indian Government’s All Electric Vehicle Dream

The government’s ambitious target of an all-electric fleet from 2030 is “not practical, and it’s not the way forward”, according to Toyota Kirloskar Motor vice-chairman Shekar Viswanathan

Amid a raging debate on the government’s resolve to ensure that only electric vehicles are sold in the country from 2030, a key official of Toyota’s joint venture has pitched for a technology-agnostic approach giving options for consumers and leeway to auto producers.

According to Economic Times, Shekar Viswanathan, vice-chairman and whole time director at Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said consumers should be given freedom to make a logical choice, and manufacturers enough leeway so that they can produce what the consumer wants.

Viswanathan said the government’s ambitious target of an all-electric fleet from 2030 is “not practical, and it’s not the way forward”.

He also argued that EVs alone are not the best answer to curb vehicular pollution.

Customers who have a certain distance to travel every day will choose electric, and those who don’t have a fixed schedule may choose a hybrid, according to him.

“In time to come, others may choose hydrogen because there is zero pollution in hydrogen vehicles. So, I think the government has to recognise this, be technology-agnostic, and encourage all technologies and fix the tax rates accordingly,” he said in an interview to PTI.

“All technologies must be encouraged because nobody knows which technology is going to succeed,” Viswanathan said.

Technologies which generate more pollution have to be discouraged through suitable fiscal dis-incentives, while those which minimise the amount of pollution should be encouraged by way of fiscal incentives.

“I don’t think electric vehicles is the immediate answer. Yes, there will be a certain percentage of vehicle population which will have electric, but we still have to rely on the internal combustion engine, hydrogen vehicles and hybrid vehicles for the remainder,” Viswanathan said.

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