Kumar further said that "we need to adopt modern technology which offers energy efficiency and zero emissions."
He was delivering the keynote address on the theme of "Future of mobility in India: Outlook and challenges" at the 15th Petro India Conference, organised by Observer Research Foundation and India Energy Forum here.
"We have missed many buses in the past. But we cannot afford to miss the bus anymore," Dr Rajiv Kumar remarked, while stressing that the transition from internal combustion engines (ICE) which uses bio-fuels to electric vehicles (EVs) should be smooth.
Kumar said Niti Aayog is well placed to come up with a reality-based transport model, with consultations with all the stake-holders.
He also noted that India needs to develop a policy based on its needs and the scenarios existing in the country.
"We cannot afford to be a follower. We should be a leader in this," he stressed. He said his organisation would first focus on two and three wheelers, which constitute a major chunk of private owned transport, and the public transport.
Meanwhile, Director of Observers Research Foundation (ORF) Kolkata, Ashok Dhar, pointed out that India is a very complex transport market where there is a big gap between the supply and demand.
Wondering whether EVs alone would be able to bridge the gap in India, Dhar suggested using technological advances in bio-fuel engines to lessen pollution.
ORF Chairman Sunjoy Joshi said there are 'many moving parts' in this market and there is a need for everyone to come together and work together. He pointed out that the pace and direction of transition of uncertain, making it more complex.
Former Union Power Secretary, Anil Razdan also stressed the need for a clear policy regarding the EVs. Saying there is no roadmap yet, Razdan asserted "it is wiser to focus on first two and three wheelers".
Even, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) partner Girish Sirodkar said transition to EVs is indispensable and the government should come up with a clear, comprehensive policy in remove the uncertainty in the market.
Maruti Suzuki Senior, Vice President Dr Tapan Sahoo also felt that focusing too much on EVs is not the right choice. He suggested that policy makers should prioritise on hybrids.
Hero Electric global CEO Sohinder Gill explained how the "confusion among policy-makers" is leading to "uncertainty" and destroying the EV industry and damaging the image of the country outside investors. (ANI)