How India can be a breeding ground for the next mobility revolution

The transition to EVs will lead to multiple positive outcomes. It will also bring down the country’s current energy dependency on other countries.

Updated: Jun 09, 2021 2:53 PM
The increased subsidy offered to two-wheelers is likely to bring down the cost of vehicles by 10% to 25%, though the numbers can vary depending upon variable parameters like battery capacity, cost of vehicles, etc.The increased subsidy offered to two-wheelers is likely to bring down the cost of vehicles by 10% to 25%, though the numbers can vary depending upon variable parameters like battery capacity, cost of vehicles, etc.

The EV mobility landscape in India has been evolving swiftly, with electric vehicles being at the forefront of the evolution. Various factors including the growing interest of the nation in the EV space, decreasing cost of technology, alarming pollution levels, growing dependence on oil imports and increasing government support are all contributing towards accelerating the country’s transition to electric vehicles. Though China has been successfully treading the EV mobility space, India’s recent progress on electric mobility has been truly noteworthy.

Unarguably, policy has been playing a key role in promoting electric mobility in the country. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME I and II) helped in triggering the initial interest and drive for electric mobility in the country. Post that, a consistent policy roadmap has been providing a key thrust to the growth of the same in India.

Over the last few years, as the government strengthened its focus of building a self-reliant/ Atma Nirbhar India, localizing supply chains and developing domestic capabilities across the entire EV value chain, from manufacturing to recycling, has become a key priority. Moreover, with Covid-19 disrupting the supply chains and putting restrictions on imports, the push towards localisation has become even more strong. However, there is still a long way to go – for the domestic supply chain to become self-reliant and strong enough to completely ignore the need for imports.

Another key opportunity for India is its large and burgeoning two and three-wheeler market, which even foreign companies find lucrative. It is important for India to ride on this unique market opportunity and strengthen its EV capabilities to accelerate growth in the segment. However, while foraying into any foreign partnership, the government must adopt a strict, cautious approach and focus on promoting domestic manufacturing.

Multiple initiatives have also been taken to enhance the renewable energy capacity in the country. According to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals website, the Government of India has a target of installing a renewable energy capacity of 175 GW by 2022, which was revisited at the recent United Nations Climate Action Summit, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi revised the renewable energy target to 450 GW by 2030.

Also, up till now, India has been completely relying on imports to fulfill its raw material (cobalt, lithium, nickel) requirements. Keeping this in mind, recycling becomes of paramount importance, since recycled materials ensure the development of a domestic, independent battery supply chain for India. Though the government has taken active steps in setting up e-waste recycling standards, the nation still awaits the introduction of some strict recycling policies which could favour the enhancement of the industry’s capacity.

Needless to say, the transition to EVs will lead to multiple positive outcomes. It will also bring down the country’s current energy dependency on other countries. According to Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, India currently imports 83.6% of its crude oil needs. The growing use of EVs will eliminate the need for heavy oil imports – another step towards achieving self-sufficiency.

To conclude, India, with a population of 1.3 billion, is a rapidly growing economy. The electric vehicle market in the country is expected to be valued at $2bn by 2023. Definitely, there are opportunities galore when it comes to the EV space, and it is clear that the country is on the right track for an evolution. The policymakers in India have been actively pushing EV adoption over recent years and many other developments have been truly notable. What is required is the government’s clear-cut commitment to EVs and a sheer focus on developing a supportive ecosystem that can brighten up the long-term outlook of the Indian EV space in a true sense. Let’s gear up to bring in fresh waves of change that could strengthen India’s position in the global EV landscape and put the country on the path of continuous advancement.

Author: Jeetender Sharma, Founder & Managing Director, Okinawa Autotech

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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