Safety most important for EVs: Hero MotoCorp CEO Pawan Munjal

PTI, May 13, 2022, 11:46 AM IST

Image credit: AFP / File

Safety is of utmost importance when it comes to electric mobility and the manufacturers should try to come up with products that are sustainable and aligned to customers’ requirements, Hero MotoCorp Chairman and CEO Pawan Munjal said on Thursday.

Speaking at a CII event, the veteran industry leader noted that the automotive industry is moving towards electrification, and the availability of optimal infrastructure and power, ecosystem, government subsidies, and disposal of EV waste are going to play a crucial role ahead.

The company, which is the country’s largest two-wheeler maker, is all set to enter the EV segment in the next few months.

“Undoubtedly, electrification is the way ahead for the industry .. Some companies are already at it .. I believe that EVs will be the vehicles of the future. The country is moving towards that,” Munjal said.

Globally, various countries have already set targets for themselves in the field of electrification of the automobile segment, he noted.

“This (movement towards EVs) will necessitate tremendous gains for the entire vehicle manufacturing ecosystem too,” Munjal said.

The design principles will be most crucial to this endeavour and the industry must try to come up with a product that is both sustainable as well as aligned to the customer’s requirements, he added.

“In addition, safety is non-negotiable and is of paramount importance given whatever has been happening across the country,” Munjal said, referring to the recent incidents of electric two-wheelers catching fire.

He noted that the entire infrastructure for charging batteries, ancillary equipment, part supply, and after-sales were all important aspects that needed the attention of the industry.

“We must also build capabilities in terms of supply chain and skill sets that will drive this mission. Given the size of our nation, putting in place high-quality infrastructure to support the electrification revolution is very very critical,” Munjal stated.

He said that it was very encouraging to see the support that has been extended by the union and the state governments for the EV sector.
“I also believe that re-skilling will be necessary to ensure that our operations are maintained without disruption. When I say re-skilling today, there are not enough competencies available in this area,” Munjal said.

Speaking about manufacturing competencies in the industry, Munjal said the manufacturing sector in the country has to go to the next level.

“This is truly our moment to attain global leadership… Indian manufacturing must internalize the areas of quality, technology, and sustainability. Each firm must drive its competencies and capabilities in all these three areas,” he noted.

It is only when each firm is performing to its optimal level that the entire supply chain can be competitive, he added.

In March, Hero MotoCorp said it has lined up a USD 100 million (around Rs 760 crore) global fund to nurture over 10,000 entrepreneurs on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) solutions, including its upcoming electric vehicles (EVs).

The company will introduce emerging mobility solutions under the Vida brand including its EV which will be officially unveiled on July 1, 2022, to coincide with the birth anniversary of Hero MotoCorp Chairman Emeritus Brijmohan Lall.

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