Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told the Reuters Impact Conference on Monday that India was formulating policies to promote the use of clean fuels, including electric vehicles (EVs), and to tighten emission regulations to achieve its carbon reduction targets.
India ranks third in the world in the use of transport vehicles, but 70 per cent of its transport energy needs are met by importing fossil fuels.
“The aim is to gradually switch to import alternatives, low-cost, domestic and non-polluting fuels,” said Mr Gadkari, adding that these include biofuels, ethanol compounds and hybrid EV and hydrogen fuel cells.
The government will strictly adhere to the 2022 deadline for implementing the Strict Fuel Efficiency Regulations (CAFE), which will motivate vehicle manufacturers to adopt cleaner fuels to achieve the new target, he said.
“The government is committed to adhering to the CAFE regulation where automakers should keep the average CO2 emissions below 130 grams per kilometer until 2022 and then below 120 grams per kilometer,” he said.
Many Indian automakers, including Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, have sought delays in enforcing stricter emission rules.
India aims to reduce carbon emissions from 33 per cent to 35 per cent by 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement, and Gadkari sees consistent mobility and clean energy to achieve its goal.
With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) set to take place in November, Gadkari’s comments are seen as an important opportunity to draw sufficient commitment from governments to tackle global warming.
However, he said India expects new incentives for climate funding for developing economies from rich countries, echoing similar comments from India’s chief economic adviser last week.
As the world prepares for COP26, rich nations are under increasing pressure to deliver on an unfulfilled promise made in 2009 to send $ 100 billion a year to help fund developing countries’ adequate response to rising global temperatures.
Gadkari said the South Asian country will account for 30% of total private car sales of electric cars by 2030 and 40% of total sales of electric motorcycles and scooters.
The government will soon make it mandatory for petrol cars to have flexible fuel engines so they can run on ethanol blends, the minister said, adding that India should achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending with petrol by 2025 – its previous target of five years ago.
Flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) can run on any combination of petrol or ethanol.