We as a citizen of India always crib and cringe about our country being immensely polluted. Using not so environment-friendly products has become the in-thing in today’s competitive world. But what are we doing to resolve this issue? will growth in the use of Electric Vehicles in India help to resolve this issue?
We are buying more cars and that too the most luxurious ones and trying to have our daily commute with our high-end cars. The Best part about commuting in one of the metro cities in India is that you get to see a wide variety of transportation modes. Autos, cabs, metros, buses, scooters, bikes, etc., you name it and see it. The worst part about a commute is air pollution and we are individually adding to it every single day.
India is the world’s fourth-largest auto market but approximately, there are only 400,000 Electric vehicles on the road. The most valid question that a prospective consumer asks is “What is the Electric Vehicle market of India and the opportunities surrounding it? Right now, the total sales in India in terms of EVs are less than 1%. Approximately only 7-8% of Indians own a car and can afford it. Choosing an electric vehicle will not only make you a responsible citizen, but you will also get an entire technology in your parking space.
Going forward with the economy growing, a lot more people will be able to afford cars. So, a solution which the Indian government is providing in collaboration with many EV ecosystem startups is a “Shared Mobility” solution. Ridesharing will be the future of electric vehicles in India. This solution has hit the market on a smaller scale and is growing gradually.
On that note, here are the current scenarios that the EV industry is facing and also a brief overview of the facts of the EV market in India and its prospects.
Current Scenarios & Facts of Electric Vehicle in India
Battery Hazard Solution
Being a fully electric vehicle driven country has its cons, the prime one being the environmental hazards coming out from the boom of battery industries. So, a proactive initiative can be taken to remove such hazards happening due to the batteries and make EV transition a smoother process. Battery disposal solutions need to be on point and smart. Battery Manufacturer ISRO(government aided) in collaboration with the Indian government is working towards building more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly battery solutions.
Also know: Types of Batteries Used in Electric Vehicles
Currently, there is very limited charging infrastructure installed for public access which is one of the drawbacks of EV setup. As per Mr. Punit Goyal (Co-founder, Blu Smart Clean Mobility), installation of a charging station is quite a challenge and needs a collaborative, strategic move and tie-ups with real estate companies, government agencies, and also government contract need to be in place.
EV Charging stations don’t need any permits & approvals and the government has pre-regulated the entire installation of the stations, whereas the petrol, diesel & CNG stations need a lot of permits and cannot be randomly setup. EV charging stations can be installed in residential complexes, schools, restaurants, and hospitals as well. This gives a huge relief to the EV industry and the consumers and it is safe to say that we can expect a lot many charging stations and easy access to charging shortly.
One of the first EV cars in India was Reva by Mahindra in 2001. It’s been 20 years since and still the process of establishing an EV market in India has been quite slow process. The Battery cost was quite high then, but 2019 was the tipping year for electric mobility and till 2021 there has been a gradual decrease in battery cost.
The global auto manufacturers have now started investing in EVs in India and going forward the battery cost will further decrease giving a proper foothold in the EV market. The government of India’s most ambitious project “Niti Aayog”, along with domestic and global manufacturers are working towards setting up Giga scale battery factories in India, which will cut the cost of the import duties and in turn reduce the battery cost.
Many Battery manufacturers like Amara Raja, HBL Power Systems, EON Electric Ltd., etc, are trying their level best to create a future for Electric Vehicles in India.
If we are talking about more charging stations, that relatively means more usage of electricity. In India, 54.4% of electricity is still majorly generated from coal. Some people say EVs are shifting the source of pollution from diesel to a coal plant. All the related stakeholders need to start the cleaning process of the grid by using more renewables and energy-efficient techniques. The whole EV ecosystem becomes green when greener electricity is used for EV charging and thus creating a healthy environment.
Also know: Ultra-Fast Charging Stations for EV
Lack of Electricity
In India, there is a lot of power deficit and many cities still don’t get continuous electric supply, so how does the plan of making an EV future in India work? Right now, the Indian Government, along with the EV giants are planning to target the metro cities and other A-tier cities of India to establish the EV foundation and gradually will make the move to smaller cities and villages.
The charging infrastructure plan is to provide a mix of home charging solutions and public charging stations for convenience and easy accessibility for the consumer. So, this home charging solution is one of the futuristic approaches adopted by the EV industry along with the Indian Government.
A threat to Traditional Automobile
The Automotive industry is going through a change, whether it’s shared mobility or independent experience. Every consumer has a different kind of requirement and this leads to a different kind of experience. So, both traditional automobiles & EVs can coexist peacefully and flourish.
Price Sensitive Market
The Electric Vehicle cost majorly depends upon the battery price and since India has a lot of domestic battery manufacturers working round the clock, the overall costing of the vehicle is also going to decrease. The cost comparison of running an EV vs a traditional vehicle is almost 1/6th the price. Benefits like cheaper cost, low maintenance, and a cleaner environment are a few of the reasons to make the switch on your mindset and make a smart purchase by owning an Electric Vehicle.
Conclusions: Although the USA, China, Europe, and Australia are the global leaders when it comes to EVs, India is catching up and the government has announced a lot of EV policies. The implementation should happen in an accelerated time duration to achieve the target EV goals. Also, the incentives issued are different for every state in India which creates confusion. A pan India policy and incentive approach will be discarding the confusion and benefit the consumers. The collaborative effort needs to be more and all the stakeholders i.e., the EV industry, battery manufacturers, and the Indian Government together can make India a pollution-free country and EV ready.
EV Duniya editorial: This article is written by Chitrangada Das