India should look to Norway to develop green transport

ANI | Updated: Dec 15, 2017 14:39 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec.15 (ANI): India should look to Norway to see how green transport solutions work in practice in order to plan for a green transport sector.

The Norwegian Embassy this month organised a seminar that was aimed to explore and identify opportunities for greening the Indian transport sector.

Norwegian Ambassador to India Nils Ragnar Kamsvag said, "Right now, over one third of all new cars sold in Norway are electric vehicles. Valuable lessons for India and Indian companies may be drawn from understanding customer behavior in such a market. We also have state of the art technology in green shipping with the world's first battery driven ferry in operation and the world's largest fleet of LNG ships. What we don't have, are the orders of magnitude. The numbers that may completely transform the market for green transport solutions, and usher in a new age of zero emission transportation".

Ambassador Kamsvag further added, "The target of 100 percent EVs by 2030 set by the Indian government is both ambitious and inspiring. We believe India should set a similar target for their shipping fleet. The switch from fossil fuels to electric power will be beneficial for India's energy security, Indian manufacturing, local air pollution and the reduction of greenhouse gases. Right now, India has the opportunity to leapfrog transport infrastructure based on fossil fuels and choose to develop green transport solutions."

India's transport sector is set to grow tremendously in the years to come. The choices made today will determine the future mobility of Indians tomorrow. The number of vehicles on Indian roads is set to grow from over 160 million to over 550 million in 2030. India's shipping fleet counts over 1200 vessels. At least half of these ships are over 20 years old and should be retired soon. Will new cars and ships in India run on fossil fuels or be electric? Will India stumble or leapfrog into the future of transport? Norway can offer valuable insights into customer behavior and new technologies in support of greening the Indian transport sector.

The guest speaker from the Indian side, Shri Abhishek Chandra, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Shipping of the government of India highlighted that India "would be very keen to work with Norway on developing maritime clusters". He further encouraged more interaction with Norwegian firms as he saw a great potential in this field.

He noted with regret that there are not many Norwegian companies showing interest yet, but ensured that a collaborative effort between Norway and India could lead to great results.

CEO of the Council of Energy, Environment and Water, Dr Arunabha Ghosh, emphasized, "The ambitious plans of road transport electrification in India are expected to translate into a much higher demand for batteries. The battery demand in India in 2030 would be five times the global battery demand today. For reducing the manufacturing costs further, the auto industry needs to make massive investments in production platforms for critical components in the EV value chain."

The seminar saw attendance of high-level participants from business, government, civil society and media to discuss the future of transport in India in light of the Norwegian experience on EVs and the technical solutions in green shipping.

About Norwegian Embassy in India: India is an important partner to Norway, where increased trade, investments and economic cooperation with mutual benefits are the topmost priority for the two countries.

The overall Indo-Norwegian cooperation covers wide range of areas such as energy and climate change, energy, environment and biodiversity, clean technologies, geohazards, health, gender, local governance, culture, and business. The partnership is founded on mutual interests and respect. It is in the self-interest of both countries to work together to solve the global challenges in inter-related areas such as energy, environment and climate change. (ANI)