1. More power to you

More power to you

With emphasis on pollution control, e-vehicles might see a big push this year. There’s already talk of such vehicles being exempt from tax. Will 2016 be an electrifying year?

By: | Updated: January 3, 2016 12:39 AM

India’s electric vehicle (EV) industry, which is still at a nascent stage, comprising less than 1% of the total vehicle sales in the country, could see a great opportunity this year , thanks to all the right noises about reduction of high emission levels and air pollution.

As per the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, the new year could herald several new products with better and more efficient technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and inbuilt GPS systems.

“Electric scooters with speed of up to 75 kmph and longer battery lives are also in the pipeline and might be showcased at auto events this year.

The new year might also witness the launch of pure electric cars, some of which have already been showcased at major auto events across the globe last year,” says Sohinder Gill, director–corporate affairs of SMEV and CEO (global operations) of Hero Electric.

Arvind Mathew, CEO of Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles, believes the growing EV industry in India would spur the manufacturing sector by cascading larger domestic production of components such as batteries, motors and controllers.

“With the release of stable long-term subventions, we can expect to see public awareness levels rise and the segment getting competitive. More public-private partnerships will take place, which will use the expertise of both parties to develop futuristic technologies.

We also foresee a plethora of mobility-related areas being met through niftier technologies in the future, which will not just meet urban mobility needs, but also address public transportation requirements such as public buses, feeders and fleet services,” he adds.

Existing barriers

* India does not have lithium-ion reserves to support a large domestic market for electric vehicles
* Lack of clear policies for supporting the growth of supply, manufacturing and recycling of batteries
* Absence of infrastructure like charging stations, etc, to bring confidence in buyers
* India’s electricity mix is dominated by fossil fuels – with low carbon benefits. Needs to be rationalised
* Safety concerns/ perceptions around electric vehicles
* High local taxes and low prices of oil
(Source: Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles)

Bharti has its own app aggregating content called Wynk Music, Wynk Movies and Wynk Games, for music, cinema and gaming content, respectively, while Vodafone India has rolled out its company app, Vodafone Music, but has tied up with Hungama Play for its movies content. Idea Cellular has a similar strategy, with a tie-up with Hungama Digital for music and ErosNow for movies and video content, and has also slashed the monthly subscription fee to R29 from R49 for new users until end of March.

Idea would be launching its own-branded Idea Games app in partnership with Opera Software AG, the Norwegian developer of Web browsers used in cellphones and tablet computers, from February 1. The game service will come at a discount for its users at R29 per month until March, from when on it will start charging R149 as monthly subscription fee.

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