The Electric Vehicle Ecosystem in India is taking a solid shape, and according to experts, the coming decade is expected to be of electric cars. The sales of electric vehicles in 2019-20 increased by 20% with 3400 units being sold in FY20. The focus on next-gen mobility is witnessing growth.
India, following the Paris agreement in 2015 announced its commitment to reduce its emission intensity by 2030. However, it looked like an arduous task since living with polluting and gas-guzzling vehicles for last, so many years, made people think that electric mobility was a far-fetched idea. Still, innovations and concerted push from automotive manufacturers have made e-mobility viable.
The Future Looks Electric
With the widespread adoption of e-mobility and under the ‘make-in-India’ programme, manufacturing of electric vehicles and their associated components is likely to increase the share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP to 25% 2022. The large-scale adoption of the electric vehicles is expected to help save $60 billion by 2030 on oil imports- presently 82% of the country’s oil demand is achieved by imports.
Also, the price of electricity as a fuel is expected to fall at Rs 1.1 per km. Thus, the electric vehicle owner will save up to Rs 20,000 for every 5,000 km. Most importantly, electrification will reduce vehicular emission, which is a key contributor to air pollution.
The NEMMP (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan) 2020 and FAME I and II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles), PMP (Phased Manufacturing Program), and Advanced Chemistry Cell Production Linked Incentive were announced with an aim for an electric-only future by 2030 for automobiles.
The e-mobility sector believes that the Indian government policies and the Pandemic have given this industry a much-needed boost. However, more work remains to be done.
How Pandemic Gave The Electric Vehicle Ecosystem A Push?
Industry experts feel that the COVID-19 Pandemic did make people realize the importance of a clean and green environment- and the fact that this could be sustained with e-mobility. Last year witnessed multiple dealer requests along with test-ride requests and pre-orders.
A new segment of consumers has emerged, considering electric vehicles as a serious contender in their automobile purchase decision.
Building Robust Infrastructure Would Be The Key To Success
Although the government is looking at building charging infrastructure at public places for e-vehicles, industry experts feel that home charging should also be pushed. Presently, charging infrastructure for e-vehicles is an area of concern. However, there have been certain positive developments.
The capital city, Delhi recently legalized charging stations for e-rickshaws and hoped that the civic agencies and private players would step forward if provided with more incentives. India’s largest power generation utility, NTPC has already commissioned its first electric vehicle station in Vishakhapatnam with a capacity to charge three e-vehicles simultaneously.
The most important aspect of the electric vehicle ecosystem is the e-vehicle itself, and in India, public transport is leading the way for incorporating e-mobility. There has been a surge in e-rickshaws in various cities due to economical fares and lower operating costs. Kolkata plans to upgrade from totos to e-rickshaw while Delhi already has approximately 1 lakh e-rickshaws running. The core challenge for the automotive industry is to develop quality batteries that are safe and long-lasting.
The Way Forward
The e-mobility market is presently seeing a high growth rate owing to changing trends in the automotive industry. Besides that, with the government’s robust vision of 30% adoption of electric vehicles by 2030, many policy reforms will have to come in to play going forward. These reforms should help in improving the existing landscape of this sector.
Making e-vehicles affordable, easy to use, and reliable to use them as conventional automobiles will be the key to building a strong electric vehicle ecosystem in the country. There have been massive changes, especially in terms of people’s attitude towards petrol/diesel vehicles’ environmental impact. However, certain obstacles need to be addressed to make the electric vehicles ready for mass adoption.