Calling for a straightforward policy from the government, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) president Vinod K Dasari told OVERDRIVE that the Indian auto industry is already developing newer commercial vehicles that don't rely on internal combustion engines. Dasari, who is MD of heavy vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland said that electric buses and trucks may be seen on Indian roads within five to 10 years. He was speaking on the sidelines of the 57th SIAM Annual Convention, his last outing as president of the industry body. Dasari said that the government's push for eco-friendly transport options is good as long as the policy governing the same does not keep changing.
Dasari said that he is aware of industry players who are already working on electric vehicles. When asked when we could expect to see these in the streets, the SIAM president replied, "Industry is already working on such eco-friendly vehicles. As long as government policy supports the development, we are ready to deliver heavy vehicles powered by electric motors. It is a matter of five to ten years before these vehicles are ready."
Vinod K Dasari serves his last day as president of the SIAM
On his last day as SIAM president, Dasari had addressed the Annual Convention likening himself to ruler Jehangir's bell, which everyone who has a complaint rings. "It is always the auto industry to blame," he has said earlier in the day. While speaking to OVERDRIVE, he had insisted that the government needs to decide its policy and stick to it. "It has to be a straightforward one that does not keep changing. Then we are ready to deliver as the policy states," he said.
In addition, when asked, Dasari said that the electric vehicles would replace internal combustion powered vehicles, with hybrid vehicles not figuring as a transition between the two. Earlier in the day, union minister Nitin Gadkari had called for use of more eco-friendly energy sources to reduce the high reliance on expensive fuel import and to cut down pollution.