The Indian Automobile sector is at the cusp of mass electrification with many segments gearing up for this transition

October 22, 2022
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Mr Rajesh Menon, Director General SIAM

Mr Rajesh Menon, Director General SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), in conversation with EVStory’s Pushpa Nair.

Your take on the EV industry in India its potential, and its future status?
The Indian Automobile sector is at the cusp of mass electrification with many segments gearing up for this transition. With the strong push by both the Central and State Governments, various measures are being put in place including monetary support to hand-hold the EV industry in these initial years. Since 2015, India has progressed considerably with electrification gaining a foothold. Various vehicle manufacturers in the country have lined up EV models as well as created a manufacturing eco-system including major critical components like batteries, motors and Chargers. This decade would prove to be the decider. In this endeavour, SIAM along with industry has been tirelessly working with Government and various stakeholders to bring a transition that is practical and sustainable. In the last couple of years, there has been an appreciable growth in the EV vehicle demand in India. EV adoption in India has the twin advantage of both reducing the pressure of Crude imports and reducing urban air pollution.

How has SIAM helped in the growth of the EV industry in India?
SIAM made various recommendations to Central Government and State Governments for the effective implementation of policies, rules and regulations relating to electrification. Some of the notable recommendations which were considered suitable by the Government in discussion with SIAM are as follows:

• Reduction of GST for EVs to 5%
• Extension of Phase-II of FAME Incentive Scheme till 31st March 2024 for Consumers
• Incentives have been provided for Electric Vehicle Manufacturers under the PLI Scheme for Auto and Auto Components.
• In addition, incentives have also been provided through PLI for Advanced Chemistry Cell manufacturing to enable Indian companies to meet the growing demand for Batteries in India through local manufacturing.
• Phased manufacturing roadmap has been developed, taking into account the current state of the manufacturing ecosystem in the country, in which indigenous manufacturing of electric vehicles, their assemblies/sub-assemblies, and parts/sub-parts/inputs of the sub-assemblies are being promoted over time through a graded duty structure. The goal is to significantly boost value addition and capacity building in the country.
• Many Indian States have also incorporated recommendations made by SIAM through its White Paper on Electric Vehicles in their State EV policies and through direct consultations.

How does membership in SIAM help members in their growth journey (specific to EV)?
• Some of the SIAM members have been associated with EV technology and have been manufacturing EVs for more than 2 decades
• SIAM has a dedicated ‘Electric Mobility Group’ which addresses any specific concerns the Auto Industry faces while transiting to Electric Mobility.
• Membership of SIAM enables companies to work together very closely and take up issues jointly with State and the Central Government. Close consultation with Government, based on inputs from SIAM member manufacturers have led to several policy measures as stated above, benefitting the EV industry.
• SIAM has also been organising interactions of members with the best minds across the world to benchmark the possibilities that exist for EVs Globally and adopt them suitably in India.

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A seasoned Corporate Communications Specialist with over 30 years of experience in both corporations and public relations firms. Strategy, Consulting, and Relationship Management were my focus areas. In the course of her career as a communications specialist, she has helped clients achieve their communication objectives.. She has also operated her own business, which specialised in B2B strategic communications and travel consulting. Other passions travel, writing, and teaching.

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