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14 Jun 2023

India is making rapid progress towards sustainability says Ashwini Kumar Choubey at SIAM conference

In alignment with the vision of promoting sustainable mobility, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) hosted an international conference titled “Imperatives of Sustainable Mobility: Towards Vision India@2047” in New Delhi, coinciding with the commemoration of World Environment Day 2023.

The conference’s Chief Guest was Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, alongside eminent speakers from the government, and industry leaders hailing from both India and various corners of the globe.

The conference was divided into four thematic sessions: Bio Initiative, Electrification, Gas Based Mobility, and Circularity. These sessions delved into various topics, including the use of low-carbon fuels with a specific focus on ethanol and gaseous fuels. Additionally, the discussions revolved around material circularity, decarbonisation, carbon neutrality and ESG compliance within the automotive sector.

The conference also covered existing and upcoming policies, the regulatory and legislative framework for alternative fuels, as well as sustainable mobility on both national and international levels.

Chief guest Ashwini Kumar Choubey said. “India is making rapid progress towards sustainability. Previously, we sought inspiration from the world, but now the world looks to India for inspiration. It is crucial to recognise that progress must be not only significant but also sustainable.”

Sharing his thoughts during the thematic Session titled Gas Based Mobility Revolutionizing Mobility with Gas-based Solutions, Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, “Today, we are faced with the task of managing multiple fuel options. It is no longer limited to traditional choices of petrol or diesel, but now includes natural gas, hydrogen, biofuels, and fuel cells. This diversification poses a significant challenge for manufacturers and consumers alike. Our objective is to ensure that consumers have a wider range of choices and that healthy competition exists within the market.”

The thematic session, titled Bio Initiative: Bio-Initiatives for Promoting Low Carbon Economy focused on the production and utilisation of biofuels obtained from renewable biological sources. The session emphasised the importance of alternative fuels in reducing dependence on petroleum and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Sharing his thoughts in this session, Hanif Qureshi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India, commented, “We have reached a consensus that our objective is to achieve a 20% ethanol blending rate, and we are fully committed to this goal. Originally set for 2030, we have revised our target to 2025, given the progress we have made thus far.”

Thematic session on Electrification Powering the Future: Benefits and Challenges of Electrification covered various aspects of electric mobility. It included discussions on advanced electric vehicle technology, environmental benefits, infrastructure requirements, challenges in charging infrastructure and grid integration, government policies and incentives, and the automotive industry’s role in driving the transition to electric vehicles.


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