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Coimbatore

WRI India organizes ‘Pioneering a Clean and Just ICEV-EV Transition for MSMEs in Coimbatore’ to support local EV transition

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Coimbatore would get an MSME Technical Centre within two-three years. For creating the facility, the Tamil Nadu Government has already allotted around 13 acres of land at Sulur.

MSMEs are crucial players in bringing about the transition from Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEV) to Electric Vehicles (EV) for which countries across the world are striving, according to Mr. D Chandrasekhar, Additional Development Commissioner, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Government of India.

He was delivering the keynote address at the seminar on “Pioneering a Clean and Just ICEV—EV Transition for MSMEs in Coimbatore,” on 12th August 2022, The seminar was organized to accelerate a smooth and equitable transition of the city’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the automobile sector by World Resources Institute (WRI) India, an environmental research organization.

Mr. Chandrasekhar said that transition from ICEV to EV is inevitable. The vehicles run on fossil fuels like petrol and diesel would become obsolete in 10 years. The WRI initiative is first of its kind in India and it would be taken across the country.

The Central Government had launched the Phase I of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicle (FAME) scheme in April 2015 which lasted till 2019. The Phase II of the FAME scheme was supposed to have lasted in March 2022, but it has been extended till March 2024.

Shubhangi Gupta , Project Associate with the Climate Program at WRI India presented the potential challenges and opportunities of the imminent ICE to EV transition and WRI India’s upcoming initiative on supporting this transition through skilling, capacity building as well as other technical and network support.

Ashwini Hingne, who leads the initiative at WRI India said, “We look forward to working with MSMEs and associations in Tamil Nadu, and especially in Coimbatore, to map the risks and key interventions needed for a transition to EV. Our work aims to build capacities of MSMEs, and we plan to roll out tailored skilling interventions next year in collaboration with various local partners and important stakeholders.”

A high-level panel discussion shed light on the policy vision, technology and finance needed to make Coimbatore a model cluster for clean and smooth transition of auto MSMEs, currently preparing to shift from the traditional ICE supply chains towards the EV industry. Panelists included: Dr. Arun Panda, Senior Fellow, WRI India (ex-Secretary, MoMSME, Government of India); Mr. V Thirugnanam, President, CODISSIA; Ms. Shanthasheela State Business Facilitation Officer, Coimbatore, MSME Trade and Investment Promotion Bureau (M-TIPB); Mr. Thiruppathy Srinivasan, MD, ePropelled; Mr. Ravi Nandan Sinha, Director, MSME Business Forum and Dr. Shankar Venugopal, VP, Mahindra & Mahindra.

Panelists also deliberated upon the role of large auto companies in ensuring that the transition creates opportunities for MSMEs in Coimbatore.

The second session of the day was a roundtable discussion that brought together key MSME associations, policymakers, and technology, finance, and EV experts from Tamil Nadu to discuss the needs of Coimbatore’s auto MSME clusters with regards to enabling a clean and equitable transition from ICEto EVs and allied sectors. Participants provided their expert inputs to the interventions needed as well as their involvement and potential collaboration.

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