Express Mobility 2021 EV Conference: In-depth analysis of the Indian EV ecosystem

The 2021 EV Conference puts forward an in-depth discussion on the subject of the EV ecosystem in India, including investments, government policies, measures for EV promotion, localisation of EV components and more.

 

Noida (UP), 24th November: Express Mobility, an automotive industry and B2B news web portal under the Financial Express, today successfully concluded the 2021 EV Conference. Only the second event under the new initiative by the Financial Express saw participation from numerous industry experts and was also attended by Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road, Transport & Highways, Government of India as the chief guest. The 2021 EV Conference puts forward an in-depth discussion on the subject of the EV ecosystem in India, including investments, government policies, measures for EV promotion, localisation of EV components, self-reliance in the EV industry, innovation and a lot more.

Chief guest address:

Underlining India’s commitment at the recently held COP26 summit over the achievement of a net-zero emission target by 2070, the minister stated that to achieve this goal, the change has to happen ‘now’.

“E-mobility is the future for us and India has surplus electricity. The government intends to have EV sales penetration of 30% for private cars, 70% for commercial vehicles, 40% for buses, 80% for two and three-wheelers by 2030.

“The government is supporting localisation of all EV components and Rs 57,000 crore have been allotted for the same through the PLI scheme. The government has also allocated Rs 18,100 crore for the manufacturing of advanced battery cells.

“India has the potential to become the no. 1 EV maker in the world.”

Key takeaways from the panel discussions:

On the subject of ‘Mass-Level Adoption of EVs and the Challenges & Opportunities’

Range anxiety continues to be a real hurdle in EV buying decisions. However, a greater frequency of EV charging or battery swapping or fast-charging stations would ensure better visibility of charging solutions and hence help build consumer confidence, says Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric Vehicles India/ DG, SMEV, Hero Electric.

Other measures would be higher range vehicles and simple electric vehicle finance. Once a certain number of EVs have started plying on the roads, it would improve confidence in consumers and it would then make way for exponential growth, he adds.

Highlighting the subscription model as a plausible measure for mass adoption of EVs, Ramesh Dorairajan, Head (Sales, Marketing & Customer Care, EV Business), Tata Motors states that the subscription model has been picking up pace and puts the decision in the buyers’ hands.

The flow of information on details like locating the nearest EV charger needs to be made seamless, says Lalit Arora, India Head – Client Relationships/ Connected Automotive Solutions, Tata Communications, while adding that an open platform where multiple players can provide EV charging services would improve the charging process for consumers, hence building confidence.

In terms of pushing electrification in the small commercial vehicle segment, Chetan Maini, Co-Founder, Vice Chairman, Sun Mobility states that the EV battery swapping model holds immense potential in easing the transition to electric three-wheelers.

On the subject of ‘Atmanirbhar Indian EV supply chain’

India is rapidly becoming a major hub for the manufacturing of components like motors and controllers, and also chargers. But the most important component for localisation in India are lithium-ion cells, a space that has made very little progress. This is both an immense opportunity and also a serious challenge. Localisation of lithium-ion cells would help tremendously in the reduction of prices of EVs as the largest value of the component in an EV is that of the battery pack, says Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy.

There are three main challenges that the Indian EV industry faces today, Brijesh Gubbi, AVP, New Business Strategy, Hyundai India, points out. The first is affordability, the second is range anxiety, and the third is the availability of EV charging infrastructure, he adds while elaborating on what can be done to overcome these challenges and where Hyundai stands on the issues.

EV battery prices should come down from 40% of the vehicle to 25-30% in the next few years, Gubbi underlines.

On the subject of ‘Potential of EVs in transforming urban last-mile connectivity in India’

The Indian consumer understands what costs they would have to bear when making a vehicle buying decision. In the past two decades when several EV players have struggled to strike the right chords with the consumer, the customer experience with EVs has not been outstanding. While in a similar time frame countries like China raced ahead penetrating the electric two-wheeler market and India is at a very early stage, says Pankaj Dubey, Co-Founder & Director, Power Global

Charging infrastructure and the number of EVs plying the roads play a crucial role, as well as the cost of ownership has to be realistic to make EVs a success. Plus, the quality of battery packs will also have a major role since 40% of the cost depends on them and if a consumer has to replace 40% of the vehicle cost every three-four years, it poses another challenge, he adds.

Presentations

In addition to the panel discussions, Express Mobility’s 2021 EV Conference partners contributed to the virtual event through comprehensive presentations. These were:

– Presentation by Pramod Chaudhary, Head – Advance Engg, Varroc

– Presentation by Sadaf A Siddiqui, Marketing Manager, Keysight Technologies

– Presentation by Puneet Sinha, Director, New Mobility, Siemens Digital Industries Software

– Presentation by KSV Babu, Business Head, Lucas TVS

The 2021 EV Conference is now available to watch on Express Drives YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbpkBiYmp-o&t=12758s

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