At present, it is no revelation that we don't see many electric vehicles on the Indian roads. The far and few in between that we see are limited to e-Verito cabs. This year, a few manufacturers did bring in new electric vehicles. However, it is quite clear that the masses haven't adopted them yet. You can blame range anxiety or many other reasons for this. This though is set to change from 2020, says Sunil Bhatnagar, country head, energy division at Micromax. Sunil says that there will be many electric vehicles that will be on the Indian roads from 2020. The theory is that by 2020, India will be a bit more ready than what it was before.
Microlyte, the battery division of Micromax, has got around three factories in India. Out of this, one is operational at present. This is the Bhiwadi unit. From January onwards, the Hyderabad plant will start making batteries. The company presently caters to the scooter segment in India. More than 300 batteries in a day are produced from this plant. The company exclusively deals in Li-ion batteries. These are superior in terms of technology to your average lead acid unit. In expectaction of the demand for electric vehicles, Sunil continues, there will be more batteries made. In due course of time, the company will also venture into the electric motorcycle battery business. The main reason why they aren't as keen currently is because of the lower volumes as well as the fact that these units are heavy duty and require more space. This is a challenge because of the less space that is available in a motorcycle's frame. A scooter has underseat storage and this can take care of the heavy duty battery.
The challenge is to have a lightweight portable battery. One that can be taken to the top floor, if required, and charged at home. Sunil says that with the advent of technology, this will be a reality soon. On the same note, when asked if they plan to venture into electric car segment, Sunil wasn't as forthcoming with the details. We, at Express Drives, will take that as a "Yes" because the lure of expanding business is something that no one can resist.