Union Minister Nitin Gadkari claimed on Friday that India could become the world’s leading automobile manufacturing country in the electric car market if it can make use of the recently discovered lithium reserve in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has recently discovered an estimated 5.9-million-tonne reserve of lithium in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

India was entirely dependent on importing lithium. However, the presence of the best quality lithium in abundant quantity in the foothills of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Salal village (Reasi) has been confirmed by the GSI.

The Significance  of Lithium in India’s Automobile Industry

The new lithium reserve will reduce India’s reliance on importing the mineral, making electric vehicle production more cost-effective and efficient in the country.

India has already beaten Japan to become the third-largest vehicle market in 2022 after China and the USA. According to Nitin Gadkari, India’s automobile industry’s present worth is Rs 7.5 lakh crore.

The industry needs to invest in vehicle scrapping and reduce logistics costs to single digits by 2024 from the current 16 percent of GDP.