From ICE to EV: Opportunities and Challenges for Just Transition in Indian Automobile Sector

International Forum for Environment, Sustainability & Technology (iFOREST), in collaboration with the Automotive Skills Development Council – India (ASDC) organised ‘From ICE to EV: Opportunities and Challenges for a Just Transition in the Indian Automobile Sector,’ on March 14, 2024, in New Delhi.

Narayankumar Sreekumar, Associate Director, Electric Mobility initiative, Shakti, moderated a session on ‘Transition Impact on MSMEs’ during the report release and conference entitled ‘From ICE to EV: Opportunities and Challenges for a Just Transition in the Indian Automobile Sector.’

The report emphasises India’s imperative to capitalise on the burgeoning Electric Vehicle (EV) transformation, leveraging technology and innovation while ensuring workers’ resilience and security. It underscores the need for sustainable choices accessible to citizens and a concerted effort to reduce the lifecycle impact of EVs for a sustainable and equitable transition in the automobile sector. Key pillars for this transition include advancing technology and skilling, promoting vibrant green manufacturing, fostering sustainable mobility choices, and embracing green energy and material circularity.

The outline of the discussion was around the Just Transition Policy Framework, which is essential, alongside the development of a national e-mobility Policy with clear targets. Supporting research and development investments, promoting green manufacturing, and prioritising workforce transition is crucial. Additionally, instituting policies such as Right to Repair and Servicing and establishing dedicated transition funds for MSMEs are imperative steps. Aligning the transition with regional industrial ecosystems, promoting Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and adopting a lifecycle approach to EVs are essential for holistic and sustainable progress in the automotive sector.