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India must seize latest opportunity in auto industry, says Abhay Firodiya

Stakeholders should insist on ‘Make in India’ policy, says chairman of Force Motors Limited.

pune Updated: Dec 14, 2017 16:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Abhay Firodiya, chairman of Force Motors Limited. (HT File Photo)

The electrification of vehicles is going to be the biggest disruption in the automobile industry. India can seize this opportunity to become the leading manufacturer of electromobility devices,” Abhay Firodiya, chairman of Force Motors Limited, said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of ITEC India 2017, a conference organised to discuss the nuances of e-mobility.

ITEC India 2017(International Transportation Electrification Conference India) is a three-day conference on e-mobility. It has a central theme of ‘Electrical Vehicle Ecosystem – Resetting the Future of Mobility’.This conference has been jointly organised by Society of Automotive Engineers India (SAE India), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

It was inaugurated in the presence of Abhay Firodiya along with Doug Patton, president, SAE International; Tomy Sebastian, president, IEEE-IAS; RK Malhotra, president, SAE India and director general, Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI); Murali Iyer, executive advisor-global affairs, SAE International; Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director, ARAI and Ujjwala Karle, general manager, ARAI.

While speaking about the importance of electrification of vehicles, Firodiya said that India has an opportunity to become a global leader in this sector. “It will take collective efforts of the government, automobile manufacturers and the consumers to make e-mobility sustainable and beneficial to all the stakeholders,” he said. He further added that the stakeholders should insist on the ‘Make in India’ policy.

“As we are entering the era of e-mobility, importing devices would mean we are creating wealth and jobs in other countries. We should insist on making these devices in India and aggressively push this agenda forward to make most of the opportunity. We must come up with relevant business models in this sector,” he said. Firodiya also highlighted that India being a global hub of small cars has the means, resources, and technology to be a game changer in the e-mobility sector.

While speaking about the dynamic changes taking place in the e-mobility industry, Urdhwareshe said that efficient transportation system always helps the economy of any country grow at a higher rate. “E-mobility is now a buzzword and it will change the transportation scenario completely. We need affordable and adaptive innovations to make transportation much safer and less polluting in the near future,” she said.

Highlighting the importance of the conference, Urdhwareshe said that ITEC Pune 2017 will pave the way for fruitful discussions on efficient and appropriate eco-system development in the e-mobility sector. She also informed that this conference will feature 120 technical papers, 30 key notes, over 500 delegates from 14 different countries, 35 stalls that have e-vehicles and related technology on display.

Patton highlighted the issue of cyber security in transportation. He said, “As all of us are constantly connected through internet, we are also at huge risk. These risks may involve cyber attacks that can cripple our transportation systems. SAE International has created guidelines to avoid such attacks and all the manufacturers/designers will take advantage of this available knowledge,” he said. He also urged the manufacturers to ensure that more young students are pursuing engineering and are coming in the talent pool to help the industry.

While speaking about the growing research in the e-mobility, Dr Sebastian said that currently a lot of research is being conducted in the sector of e-mobility. “Linking this research to practice and making it beneficial for the Indian automobile market is what we should emphasise on from now,” he said.

First Published: Dec 14, 2017 16:11 IST