Hybrids not must for moving towards electric mobility: Siam

New Delhi: Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) president Abhay Firodia on Monday said hybrid technology is not a must for moving towards electric mobility and supported government’s current incentives for the hybrids.

At present, hybrid cars attract GST rate of 28% plus 15% cess. Companies like Toyota, Honda and Maruti Suzuki have demanded better incentives for hybrids saying it was necessary for transition to full electric vehicles.

“What we are saying is that the government has considered an incentive at a reduced level for hybrids. There is higher incentive for electric vehicles. It indicates government’s approach where they see hybrids at best as a passing phase,” Firodia said.

With battery cost coming down in the future, electric mobility will automatically replace fossil fuels, he added. “Hybrid technology is not a necessary step for electric mobility,” Firodia noted.

SIAM as an organisation has different kind of members who make commercial vehicles and two-wheelers as well, so it cannot “back only one view”. He added that the government has been consistent with its policies for the auto sector.

“There could be issues related to rates of taxes. It is something which has to be resolved by having dialogue with the government and it is going on. I do not think there is policy flip flop on part of the government,” Firodia said.

SIAM is in dialogue with the government to moderate certain rates on some categories of vehicles which are in need of correction, he added. There are issues related to mini buses, ambulances which require correction, Firodia said. On electric mobility he said there is a need to bring all the stakeholders together including government, industry and academia.

“No matter who says what, electric mobility is not coming tomorrow, it will take years..it will take years doesn’t mean we have so many years. We need to start at the earliest and for that reason a dialogue has been established,” Firodia said.

SIAM will be presenting a white paper to the government listing its views which will be the basis for the dialogue, he added. “This dialogue will take a while. We do hope there will be clarity as to how we move forward together,” Firodia said.