ETAutoTech Summit: India poised to lead global automotive innovation by 2030, says Tata Motors CTO – ET Auto

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ETAutoTech Summit: India poised to lead global automotive innovation by 2030, says Tata Motors CTO – ET Auto


Rajendra Petkar, Tata Motors

New Delhi: Rajendra Petkar, President & CTO – Tata Motors, emphasised on the critical importance of sustainable transitions within the automotive sector at ETAutoTech Summit ’24. He highlighted the dual challenge of advancing both hardware and software to achieve sustainability goals.

“This conference’s theme, ‘Engineering Sustainable Transitions,’ resonates deeply with the ongoing shifts in the automotive industry,” Petkar stated. He stated that there is a necessity of a “win-win” approach that benefits all stakeholders, including OEMs, the component industry, government bodies, and customers.

Petkar elaborated on the dual facets of transition – hardware and software. On the hardware side, he discussed the imperative of product sustainability, responsible sourcing, and decarbonization efforts across the value chain. He pointed out the significant strides being made towards net-zero emissions and the adoption of circular economy practices within the industry.

He emphasised the need for environmentally friendly practices within the logistics sector, noting that enhancing efficiency in transportation and distribution is critical for reducing overall emissions.

Turning to software, Petkar painted a picture of a rapidly evolving landscape where software integration in vehicles is no longer a secondary concern but a primary focus. “The software has the potential to eat the entire vehicle,” he remarked, highlighting the shift from hardware-centric to software-centric vehicle systems. This transformation, he noted, demands agile development approaches and robust software architectures to manage the complexities of modern vehicles.

Petkar also emphasised India’s pivotal role in the global automotive industry. With a growing GDP forecast and a demographic shift towards a younger population, India is poised to become a global manufacturing hub, particularly in the automotive sector. He praised the government’s supportive policies, including the National Hydrogen Mission, which bolster the industry’s growth.

Looking towards the future, Petkar confidently asserted, “There is every possibility that by 2030, India is going to take a very pole position in terms of the global automotive pecking order.”

He also delved into the specifics of fuel transitions, discussing the move from conventional fuels to alternative energy sources. He mentioned the recent announcement about E20 fuel, a blend of 20% ethanol with gasoline, which will become the norm in the next year.

He addressed the ongoing developments in diesel blends and the growing role of hydrogen as a fuel. “The alternate fuel is becoming mainstream,” Petkar said, indicating the increasing adoption of CNG, LNG, and hydrogen in various vehicle categories. He highlighted the government’s favorable policies on CNG pricing, which supports its rapid growth as a cleaner fuel option. “CNG is not zero-emission but an intermediate fuel with significant positive impact on emissions and total cost of ownership,” he added.

Petkar further said that, “There are certain categories of vehicles where it will be battery electric, and others where it could be hydrogen-based,” reinforcing the idea that a diversified approach is essential for achieving sustainability goals.

He concluded with a call for collaboration and skill enhancement and stressed that the path to sustainability is multi-step and multi-year, requiring collective effort and innovation.

  • Published On Jul 9, 2024 at 08:15 AM IST

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