The government on Wednesday approved a project for the promotion of environmentally-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles, at a total cost of Rs 23,000 crore ($4 billion) which will be invested over a period of eight years.
"The first meeting of the National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) has adopted the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP 2020)," Vikram Gulati, director in the ministry of heavy industries and public sector enterprises, told IANS.
"The NEMMP is a vision document that envisages promotion of electric and hybird vehicles in the country in the next eight years," he said.
"NEMMP 2020 objectives are meant to be achieved by state help that includes provisions for setting up of a manufacturing units, acquisition of technologies, setting up of infrastructure and demand creation," Gulati said.
According to Gulati, a total amount of Rs 20,000-23,000 crore has been envisaged for the NEMMP 2020 which also includes private investments.
The document envisages penetration of 60-70 lakh electric and hybrid vehicles, including passenger cars, two-wheelers, trucks and three-wheelers by 2020.
Currently the electric and hybrid vehicles have less than one percent of the overall 17 million units per annum automobile market in the country.
Cost savings by the way of mitigating the use of fossil fuels is estimated to be triple the actual amount invested in the scheme.
The vision document also envisages close government and industry collaboration in rolling out initial projects. The NEMMP 2020 is part of the automotive mission plan (AMP) 2016 under the national mission for electric mobility.
Gulati said that the ministry will soon finalise several schemes under the NEMMP 202 which will then be sent for a final approval of the government.
"The vision document will now be converted into schemes and will be sent for final government approvals. We expect the process to take a minimum of three-six months," Gulati said.
Automobile manufacturers such as passenger car major Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai Motor, General Motors, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Mahindra and Mahindra are already working on vehicles powered by electric and hybrid technologies.
Even two-wheeler manufacturers like Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor had shown hybrid models of their scooters at the Delhi Auto Expo held earlier this year.