Karnataka is exploring every possibility to attract investments worth Rs 31,000 crore from companies looking to set up manufacturing and R&D units for electric vehicles (EV) in the state. This comes at a time when the Union government is aggressively pushing automakers to switch to green technology, Business Standard (BS) reported.
Back in April, the then Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal had unveiled an ambitious plan that sees India using only electric vehicles by 2030.
Now, the Karnataka government has come up with a policy that aims to set up EV manufacturing zones along with facilities for testing. These zone could be used even by start-ups, the business daily reported.
"I am sure this policy would be a game-changer in the industry and will be a model for other states. Our real work starts now, focusing on developing a ready ecosystem for a vibrant EV sector in the state," said R V Deshpande, Karnataka's industries minister.
The state estimates that in next few years, the EV industry will be able to create employment for 55,000 individuals, reported the daily.
Karnataka is the first Indian state to roll out an Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy. The first electric car manufacturer Reva was conceptualised and produced in the state. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) took over EV pioneer Reva a few years ago.
Other than India's only electric car manufacturer Mahindra Electric, Karnataka is also home to one of the most promising electric mobility start-ups Ather Energy, BS reported.
Various car component makers, such as Bosch and Delphi, have large capacities in the state and have already started preparations for India's ambitious electrification drive.
Earlier Bosch announced that the company was working on plans to supply electric car and two-wheeler manufacturers with motors, control units and batteries from next year .
The state's policy also mandate installation of charging units in all high-rise buildings, malls, information technology (IT) parks, and apartment complexes. The state's Cabinet approved the new policy, which has a vision "to make Karnataka, a preferred investment destination for manufacturing of EVs." The business daily reported.
With the policy in place Karnataka many have a new title soon—EV capital of India. The state already has titles like IT capital and start-up capital of the country.
Last week, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari sent a strong message to automakers to move to alternative-fuel vehicles
"I am going to do it, whether you like it or not. I will bulldoze. Petrol diesel banaane walon kaa band-baajaa bajaanaa hai (We will take the makers of petrol/diesel engine vehicles to task)," Gadkari said at an event in Delhi.
Following Gadkari's remark, Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava lauded the government's electric vehicle push and said the company plans to release models based on customer preferences. Speaking at the company's 36th annual general meeting (AGM) he said the move could greatly enhance the usage of electric vehicles in the country and lead to a cleaner environment over time.