Stating that high international prices of oil contribute significantly to India's import bills, trade deficit and inflation, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said it is very important that we make all possible efforts to reduce the transport sector's dependence on oil.
Dr. Singh said today over 80 percent of India's requirements of petroleum products is being imported, and added that this dependence on imports is likely to increase.
"High international prices of oil contribute significantly to India's import bills, to our trade deficit, and also if I may say so in the world of rising energy prices, to inflation, thus putting a big strain on our economy," said Dr. Singh in his address at the launch of National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.
"It is, therefore, very important that we make all possible efforts to reduce the transport sector's dependence on oil. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is by faster adoption of the full range of electric vehicle technologies, including hybrid vehicles. These technologies are not only more efficient but they are also cleaner. They have the potential of contributing substantially to our efforts for mitigating the adverse impact of economic development on the environment," he added.
Dr. Singh said 'electric and hybrid vehicles therefore, have a significantly lower level of emissions, including carbon-di-oxide emissions, which is one of the major contributors to global warming and to processes of climate change'.
"I am happy that the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 has focused strongly on building domestic capabilities through RandD and a strong local supply chain for the new technologies. I would urge the automotive industry to make all possible efforts to develop capabilities in the area of electric mobility," said Dr. Singh.
"At present, significant barriers exist for faster adoption of the new electric mobility technologies by consumers. It is, therefore, necessary to create an eco-system whereby these technologies can be nurtured. The Government is committed to work with industry and other stakeholders to make it happen," he added.
Dr. Singh further said 'while promoting private transport through electric vehicles is a positive step forward, we must give far greater focus to the development of public transport using energy efficient and alternative energy technologies'.
"I would urge that this aspect should be kept in view when the individual components of this plan undergo the due process of approvals in our system. Given our population size and urban densities, public transport should be given greater priority than private transport. In our country, the primary mode of daily commuting should be a high quality energy efficient public transport system," he added.
The Prime Minister, who unveiled the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, said 'this is a very important milestone in our country's efforts for a cleaner and greener transport system for the future'.
"I compliment all those who have been involved in this massive collaborative effort to prepare this Plan," he added.
Dr. Singh said the transport sector today accounts for nearly 30 percent of the worldwide consumption of energy.
"Out of this, three fourths comes from road vehicles. Further, oil provides 95 percent of the primary energy consumed in the transport sector worldwide. The International Energy Agency projects that 75 percent of the projected future increases in oil demand will be from the transport sector. India and China are likely to account for a major part of this increased global demand for oil," he added. (ANI)