As the race towards carbon neutrality gains momentum, C V Raman, the CTO of Maruti Suzuki India believes the share of pure internal combustion engines will drop to a third by the end of the decade, which will further slip to 2040, as the country progresses on its path to a net carbon zero society.
Speaking on the theme of Sustainable technologies for the next decade as part of the Symposium on International Automotive Technology (SIAT) organised by ARAI in Pune, Raman said, “India needs to have a technology-agnostic approach
update ICE, and focus on CNG and alternative fuels including hybridisation.”
The head of R&D says the Indian market is set to grow by 1.5 times to 6 million units till FY31 and it will further grow 1.7 times between the decade of 2030 to 2040 to 10 million units and the powertrain mix will evolve towards cleaner alternatives. This expansion of TIV or total industry volumes will also call for higher import of fuels.
“To meet the national objective of oil import reduction, decarbonisation, and Make in India, one needs a multi-technology approach for sustainable growth,” added Raman.
As per the forecast shared by Raman, the share of petrol will come down from 80% at the end of FY23 to 28% at the end of FY31, which will further come down to 10% at the end of 2040.
The share of alternate fuels was 19% at the end of FY23 moving up 32% at the end of FY31. He expects the share of EVs to move up to 15% at the end of FY31 and 40% at the end of 2040, whereas hybrid vehicle share which was less than 1% will move up to 25% at the end of FY31, before slipping a bit to 20% at the end of 2040.
“EVs will grow but a substantial portion will still be catered by ICE, alternate fuels and HEVs,” added Raman.
On the alternate fuel front, he informed that the CNG availability will expand to 18,000 stations by the end of the decade and there will be a higher share of ethanol blends from E10 at present to E20 by 2025, which may further increase to E85 and E100, but he did not share the timelines for the same.
“Bio CNG is another strong alternative for the future, which may play a big role in carbon neutrality, as it is a negative carbon intensity fuel,” he added.
For a clean environment, it is “imperative” that the nation adopts a holistic approach with a low-carbon electricity grid for charging using renewable sources.
“While we are looking to speed up production to get newer products to market matching with the customer experience, we need to work on generating energy with low carbon fuel” and “industry needs to increase the share of renewable electricity to total electricity generation,” he said.
Talking about OEMs’ journey towards sustainability, he said it cannot be fulfilled without energy sources being sustainable and greener, as India is looking to reduce dependence on coal-based fuels to 30 percent by 2030.