Focus on alternative fuel, mobility policy: Bhargava

Pitching for alternate fuel technologies such as CNG and hybrids, Maruti Suzuki India chairman R.C. Bhargava has said that the country needs to devise a long term mobility policy to mitigate risks of pollution and dependence on few countries for crude oil.

Although the government’s push for EVs to replace internal combustion engine vehicles is designed to reduce risks associated with import of crude oil from a few countries, Mr Bhargava said the quantum of imports is projected to rise steadily as the economy grows and the need for mobility becomes even larger.

“As we gradually increase the percentage of EVs, a very large number of internal combustion engine vehicles would also be produced to meet the total demand,” he said in a message to the company’s shareholders in the company’s Annual Report for 2017-18.

It would obviously be better to use alternative technologies and fuels that reduce the consumption of petrol and diesel, rather than produce only electric cars and internal combustion cars, he added.

CNG is a clean fuel already being used and its usage can expand subject to the distribution network expanding, he added. “It would be a good intermediate step. Ethanol and Methanol hold promise. Hybrid technology is also available,” Mr Bhargava said.

Political events have shown how fragile energy security is and how easily the price and supply of oil can be adversely affected for importing countries like India, he added.

The government’s decision to push EVs to replace internal combustion engine vehicles was essentially designed to reduce the risks associated with the import of crude from a few countries, he said.

“The quantum of imports is projected to increase steadily as the economy grows and the need for mobility becomes larger and larger. Even though pollution from cars is still a very small part of the total pollution, this position would change as car ownership grows over the next two decades,” Bhargava said.

Calling for a holistic approach, Bhargava said, “Clearly, the country needs to think long term and develop a strategy that would mitigate these risks, both in the short term and the long term.”

Meanwhile Maruti said on Wednesday it is recalling 1,279 units of new Swift and Dzire models to inspect for a possible fault in the airbag controller units.

Maruti Suzuki India  said around 1,279 vehicles (566 new Swift and 713 new Dzire) manufactured between May 7, 2018 and July 5, 2018 will be covered in this campaign.

“Starting July 25, 2018, owners of the vehicles included in this recall campaign will be contacted by Maruti Suzuki dealers for inspection and replacement of the faulty part free of cost,” it said.

Recall campaigns are undertaken globally to rectify faults that may be potential safety defects, it added.

Maruti said that customers of  Swift and Dzire can visit the company website and fill in the chassis number to check. The chassis number is embossed on the vehicle ID plate and is also in the vehicle invoice.

Source- Asian Age