A Look into the Indian Electric Vehicle Future


India’s rapid growth in population, economic welfare, migration and urbanization has led to heavy dependence on vehicles and thus vehicular congestion on roads of every city, especially metropolitan cities. This has led to significant deterioration in the air quality. India held the record of severe pollution in 2019, with 21 out of 30 most polluted cities in the World. Moreover, India records over 2 million pollution-related deaths annually, as per the IQAir Study of 2019. 

Regardless of the compelling case made above, the full-blown achievement of Electric Vehicles (EVs) over the market has been restrained by weak client inclination and infrastructure barricades, among other factors. Numerous EVs launched in India have missed the mark of consumer expectations, with concerns on high expenses, range, speed, battery life and battery technology. The aftermath of the COVID outbreak and resulting lockdowns have further affected the auto industry negatively, subsequently impeding the shift to EVs. While EVs address under 1 percent of the general market, the silver lining is that there is impressive headroom for growth.

While electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for quite a while, the degree of advancement and interest in space has sped up over the past decade. As far as execution, there is no chasm that once existed between EVs and their Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) partners. EVs, indeed, fare better compared to ICE vehicles on the following factors- goals of transport policies, upgraded energy security, decreased dependence on raw petroleum, better air quality and lower greenhouse gases affecting the ozone. 

EVs are, therefore, arising as the favourable clean technology for the fate of transportation. The financial aspects of EVs have additionally improved significantly while growing, particularly in battery and charging advancements, which are expected to lessen costs further. 

The EV market has for quite some time been viewed as a clear alternative for the automobile sector in India. A desire to decrease pollution levels and reliance on oil imports has supported the case for quick EV adoption.

Fuelled by the above, policymakers in India have acknowledged this opportunity and have been effectively pushing EV adoption off late. A government body- NITI Aayog, in their recent proposal has determined that- Faster Adoption and Assembling of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME II) and different policies supporting electric transportation are expected to push EV purchase penetration to 30 percent for private cars, 70 percent for business vehicles, 40 percent for public transports and 80 percent for bikes (2Ws) and three-wheelers (3Ws) by 2030.

Light electric mobility is probably going to lead the EV advancement story in India, with the speed of adoption for 2Ws and 3Ws expected to grow significantly in the coming years. In India, 2Ws rule the EV market, given their monetary feasibility, both, as far as cost and mileage are concerned. 

Intra-city bus transports are additionally ripe for EV adoption. These areas of mobility are probably going to be closely trailed by fleet taxis, and then others.

Creative plans of action; for example, battery swapping has come forth to empower faster EV adoption. The battery swapping model mitigates issues of long charging time, long drive range worries, high expense and battery dependability for the EV owners. To make this model serviceable, the operator needs to guarantee the standardization of batteries and work in a closed-loop environment.

In accordance with Make-in-India drives and worldwide supply chain realignments, the public authority is vigorously pushing the localization of manufacturing of EVs to attain twin goals of both Atmanirbharta (self-sustenance) and job creation. This will open doors for setting up infrastructure across the EV value chain, including charging and battery production.

EVs are well on their course to satisfy their potential as game-changers for the automobile business, with 2W and 3W auto segments prone to lead the adoption curve followed by e-buses and passenger taxis. 

On the flip side, however, it is anticipated that 4W personal vehicles might face lags in EV adoption. There will probably be a restricted number of launches by major players in this section, as the emphasis will be concentrated on ICE vehicles for the following upcoming years. This will lead to a delay in the adoption or consideration of EV 4Ws. 

Public E-transports could see a sensible growth due to government adoption of public e-transports. The intra-city public transport segment, which needs restricting charging support, additionally offers an alluring case for EV adoption especially due to government push, favourable financial ecosystem and rapid awareness.

Several components, including the accessibility of charging support, powerful financial ecosystem, marked down battery costs and consumer awareness, are being prepared for a new era of EV adoption. The government authority is similarly pushing EV strategy to address an area of the adoption boundaries.

EV is, hence, arising as a disruptive power, with multiple players, like Rugged Bikes, exploring different avenues and plans of action. Since the running expense of EVs is a lot lower than that of ICE vehicles (one-tenth for 2W and 3W), a compelling case arises for a shift to EVs in both B2B and B2C. 

To resolve the issues of long-range worries and the absence of charging stations, legislatures and service organizations across the world have started to lead the movement towards setting up charging stations. In India, though, serviceable companies for the ease of EV mobility are yet to enter the market in a big way. An organization of charging stations is imperative for guaranteeing the quick adoption of EVs. 

Besides, with the end goal for EVs to take off, the localization of all supporting components for smooth EV mobility needs to be set up.

The Government has laid out plans to set up a battery production plant in India and plans to court industry goliaths by offering several crores of Capex and Opex-driven incentives. The public authority is expected to dedicate a 50 GWh complete battery cell manufacturing office as proposed by NITI Aayog in their proposal. 

In short, there is incredible potential in India’s EV market, as a large group of components, for example, government-led policy measures, infrastructure advancement, and a market buzz, join hands to drive long haul development.

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