Monday, February 20, 2012
By Shilpa Chopra
National Automotive Board to promote hybrid and electric cars
In order to enhance the Indian automobile sector government is looking ahead to set up a specialized body “National Automotive Board (NAB)” by April, this year. According to a senior official, the Department of Heavy Industry has finalized this body and it is speculated to be cleared in a time span of one month by the cabinet. The official added that the NAB would assist the automotive industry and the government in order boost up the research and development process, thereby playing a key role in enhancing the scope of automobile sector development. Moreover, NAB would also work for the government to promote the usage of hybrid and electric vehicles in the domestic auto-market.
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NAB would be headed by the members of Department of Heavy Industry, Planning Commission and other ministries that includes; Science and Technology, Environment, Road Transport & Highways and Forests. Furthermore, scientists and industry representatives would play a key role in the board. However, NAB would fall as a successor of R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRIP) and National Automotive Testing.
Speaking about the evolution of NAB, the official stated that NATRIP was earlier established in order to aid Auto Testing and Research & Development (R&D) Centres, thereby upgrading the present ones. As these centers are now established and many of them are upgraded as well, therefore utility of NATRIP is not needed anymore.
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NATRIP was formed in order to upgrade R&D centers i.e. Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) located at Pune, International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) located at Manesar and the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) located at Ahmednagar. Furthermore, to cater more for automotive testing, homologation and R&D, NATRIP laid emphasis on establishing four green-field centers at Chennai, Silchar, Indore, and Rai Bareilly.
Establishment of “National Automotive Board” seems to be a wise decision from the federal units as it would stress on the usage of EVs like Reva NXR and Hybrid cars like Mahindra Scorpio Hybrid, Honda Civic etc.