Mumbai: From the humble Maruti-800 to the Rs 2.62 crore BMW i8 hybrid, Sachin Tendulkar has seen, driven and owned them all.
The cricket legend has now thrown his weight behind the government’s plan to have an all electric car fleet by 2030 in India, saying the present generation has a responsibility to look after the planet and hand it over to the next in a better shape.
Although the road to having environment-friendly mobility solutions is going to be long and winding, Tendulkar believes that it is never too soon to make a start with real intent.
“It is about looking after the planet. It becomes our responsibility to look after the planet and make sure that when the next generation takes over, it is in better shape,” Tendulkar told PTI.
He was responding to a query on his views on alternative fuels and environmental-friendly mobility solutions, considering rising concerns over pollution in India.
Referring to the government’s initiative to have an all electric car fleet by 2030, he said it was a step in the right direction.
“I think the world is going in that direction,” he said.
Yet, the master blaster, known for his whirlwind run scoring, sees the journey to eco-friendly vehicles being more like playing a long innings in a Test match.
“That process is a lengthy process, change is not going to happen overnight. Results are not going to happen overnight … (but) somewhere, we need to start and we need to have that intent. As long as we all are moving in the right direction results will follow,” Tendulkar said.
Being an automobile enthusiast himself, he said electric vehicles can also provide what normal internal combustion engines offer.
Recollecting his experience of driving the i8 hybrid, Tendulkar said the electric motor of the car can offer power for sudden acceleration like other normal ‘muscle cars’.
“My experience with i8 has been fabulous. It has something to it because of the way it handles, power for sudden accelerations, instant braking and it’s light weight,” he said.
He expressed optimism that with “many experienced brains working in finding the right solution”, expensive technologies such as the one used in i8 hybrid could make their way to mass market vehicles over a period of time.
In April this year, Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said that the government was looking at having an all electric car fleet by 2030 with an objective of lowering fuel import bill and running cost of vehicles.
Policy think-tank Niti Aayog has also proposed giving both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives and subsidies to push sales of electric vehicles while discouraging the use of petrol and diesel-run vehicles.