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EV not eco-friendly unless power is generated from renewable sources: Munjal
This month, Hero MotoCorp not only launched its electric bike AE-47, but also announced an investment of Rs 10,000 crore to create next generation mobility solutions which will focus on sustainability, among other factors. Hence, the two wheeler giant’s agenda for the future is clear and green.
But, according to Sunil Kant Munjal — who opted out of Hero MotoCorp in 2016 and is the Chairman of Hero Enterprises — electric vehicles cannot be considered environment friendly unless electricity is also generated from renewable sources.
“Despite its advantages, EVs have a few challenges. First, it does not reduce pollution. EVs may not emit smoke but coal is the primary source of generating power in the country and thermal power generation is a highly polluting process,” said Munjal.
“As a country we have to move towards a cleaner environment and one of the things that affect it is automotive emissions. But, what is the final technology is not clear yet. EV is one of the more viable ones, but is not the only technology that’s out there. Also, the battery technology is one and a half generation away from being the most suited for this use,” he added.
Elaborating on other sustainable alternatives, the industry veteran said, “Companies in northern Europe, US and Japan are pursuing and encouraging research in multiple technologies at the same time. Before putting all of their resources into one of them. They are of course encouraging electric vehicles, but also promoting hydrogen fuel-cells, accelerated development of graphene-powered motors and a whole host of other things.”
Munjal also said the government too has to do more to encourage both consumers and manufacturers. “Infrastructure is a challenge. We do not have sufficient charging infrastructure available across the country which restricts mobility. But, the government and the regulators rightly are pushing the industry to say you quickly get on to this path. Because the earlier you start, the earlier you will get there,” he said.