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Pune Can Become A Transport Hub For Electric Vehicles: Nitin Gadkari

Gadkari said that Indian startups have a lot of scope in the automobile industry

He also virtually inaugurated Green Joules, a startup under Science and Technology Park (Pune) that converts agro-industrial waste into useable diesel fuel

He again batted for use of ethanol and biofuels which can reduce pollution and the country’s imports

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday (May 6) said that the use of electric vehicles (EVs) is rising in the country and Pune has the potential to become a transport hub for these vehicles.

Speaking at a function at Pune’s Science and Technology Park, Gadkari said that there is a lot of scope for startups in the automobile industry.

The minister inspected a selection of startup products related to transport and commuting, and virtually inaugurated Green Joules, a startup under the Park that converts agro-industrial waste into usable diesel fuel.

He once again batted for the use of biofuels in the country. “The new technology with the use of ethanol, and other biofuels are cost-effective, pollution-free and substitutes for imports,” he said.

Talking about India’s automobile sector, the union minister said that industry is growing in India, and major manufacturers want to export their products from the country. The automobile industry can create a lot of job opportunities in the country, he added.

Gadkari also emphasised the need for coordination, cooperation and communication about new technologies with the various government departments, and said there is a need to focus on research and startups as per the local needs. 

An electric Gypsy retrofit kit of Pixy Electric Cars Pvt Ltd, Ashnni Motors Pvt Ltd’s e-scooter for last-mile delivery, an electric sowing implement of RowbotixAgtech Pvt Ltd were among the products from startups displayed at the event.

The Science and Technology Park in Pune (STP), which was established in 1986, is promoted by the Ministry of Science and Technology. It promotes science and technology innovations and entrepreneurship. It has invested nearly INR 13 Cr (about $1.75 Mn) in 81 startups working in various sectors such as electric mobility, waste processing, renewable energy, pollution control, health and diagnostics, and education, among others.

Growing EV Sales In India

India produced 22.65 Mn vehicles in FY21. According to an IBEF report, the country’s automotive industry will reach a size of $300 Bn by 2026.

The EV sector, a part of the automotive industry, saw over 3X growth in FY22. According to FADA’s data, 4,29,217 units of EVs were sold in FY22 as compared to 1,34,821 in FY21. Electric two-wheelers accounted for the majority of EV sales during the year. Over 2.3 Lakh units of two-wheeler EVs were sold in FY22 as against 41,046 units in FY21.

The burgeoning EV sector  in the country has seen a slew of deals in recent times. Earlier this week, Jindal Mobilitric, a subsidiary of Jindal Worldwide, forayed into the EV segment by acquiring Mumbai-based EV startup Earth Energy EV for an undisclosed amount. 

As part of the acquisition, Jindal Mobilitric would take over Earth Energy’s commuter scooter brands – Glyde SX, Glyde SX+, and commuter and cruiser motorcycle brands – Evolve R and Evolve S.

In April this year, Mumbai-based EV startup BGauss raised $7 Mn from Vini Cosmetics’ Darshan Patel to expand its business, launch new products and invest in research and development.

In the same month, electric mobility startup Prakriti E-Mobility secured an undisclosed amount of lead investment as part of its pre-Series A funding round, led by IEG Investment Banking Group. EV manufacturing startup Euler Motors also raised about $5 Mn as part of its Series B funding round from Moglix. Its investors include QRG Investments and Holdings, Inventus Capital India, Blume Ventures, ADB Ventures and Jetty Ventures.

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