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Govt roadmap aggressive, but needed to make India electric vehicle hub: Naveen Munjal

“If India wants to be the hub of electric vehicles or if India wants to be a market leader in electric vehicles, we have to move to zero emissions.” Naveen Munjal told ET.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 16, 2019, 05.44 PM IST
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Naveen Munjal said the right to use the ‘Hero’ brand for electric products lies exclusively with his part of the family.
NEW DELHI: Hero Eco managing director Naveen Munjal struck a dissonant note from Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal saying that while the government’s proposal to electrify all two-wheelers below 150 cc in the next six years is aggressive, it is necessary if India is to emerge as a hub for manufacturing electric vehicles.

The views expressed by Naveen Munjal, who heads one of the country’s oldest two-wheeler firms, are in sharp contrast to Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal, who has said that a rushed deadline for electrification will impact investments and employment in the domestic automobile industry adversely.

“If India wants to be the hub of electric vehicles or if India wants to be a market leader in electric vehicles, we have to take such steps. We have to move to zero emissions.” Naveen Munjal told ET.

Munjal elaborated that given twelve of the fifteen most polluted cities in the world are in India, “And majority of the air pollution that comes in is two-wheeler pollution. There are enough reports which talk about that. Oil consumption is also two-wheelers, pollution is also two-wheelers… That’s the low hanging fruit. That has to get converted first.”

As many as 21 million two-wheelers were sold in the local market in the last financial year. Hero Moto-Corp dominated with sales of 7.61 million units.

Munjal went on to add that if required, the government should impose a cess on polluting vehicles to incentivise sales of electric vehicles. “Charge a cess on pollution, the more you pollute, more the tax you have to pay. If you go to central London, a diesel vehicle pays 19 pounds a day, petrol 14 pounds, electric zero. Something like that”, said Hero Eco’s Munjal.

He said it has to be seen whether two-wheeler electrification can hit the 20 million mark in the next six years, but he emphasised that companies rolling out internal combustion engine driven motorcycles and scooters “will have to convert.” Hero Electric, he said, is geared to make good of the government’s electrification drive and to take on competition, even from within the family.

Munjal said the right to use the ‘Hero’ brand for electric products lies exclusively with his part of the family.
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