Studies indicate that Indian automotive industry could well become the third largest in the world over the next decade and the country aims to electrify at least 30 percent of all transportation by 2030. However, the EV market in India is stil in developmental phase. Notwithstanding incentives and subsidy offerings from the government, there are about 356 EV manufacturers and 160 EV approved models, predominantly two-wheelers and the EV ecosystem is in a nascent stage. The question therefore, stands whether India has the potential to become an EV hub globally?
Speaking at the FE Electric Mobility Summit 2022, Manish Raj Singhania, President of FADA believed that the “FAME II should be extended as the past 2 years were somewhat lost due to Covid-19.” According to him these government subsidies can go a long way in strengthening the market dynamics for EVs in India.
Akash Passey, President – Bus Division of VE Commercial Vehicles was fairly positive and pointed out that the “EV ecosystem is gradually growing in India- 12000 electric busses ordered, 3000 busses delivered, 50000 electric buses are expected in next 5 years. “
That said, it is common knowledge that India has limited capacity in terms of battery manufacturing. At the moment, most of the electric vehicles sold in India use imported batteries. Key players like CATL, Panasonic, LG Chem, CALB have been making for the current players with most having hubs outside the country.
Atul Arya, EV / ESS/ Lithium ion Head- Panasonic India explained that the “Raw material availability for EV batteries restricted to certain geographies and the prices are on rise. However, when ecosystem is set in the country, we’ll recycle these.” He does not rule out the possibilities. The PLI scheme for ACC (NPACC) battery manufacturing is expected to offer impetus to these initiatives.
The other big push to catalyse EV adoption is no doubt the individual policies floated by each state to make EV buying and usage more lucrative. Giving a glimpse of some ground level development, Himanshu Jain (IAS), ACEO, Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion said that “Punjab is setting up e-Parks that are being sold quickly. 25 percent of the public fleet will also be replaced in 3 years.”
A state-wise analysis of sales data between FY2020 and FY2022 reveals that Uttar Pradesh emerged as the top state, clocking maximum EV sales in the given period at 145,645, followed by Delhi, Karnataka, Bihar, and Maharashtra.
However demand and supply are closely intertwined in this context and as the demand starts gathering momentum industry stakeholders believe that opportunities would increase too. According to Jain, steps by Punjab to create “green corridors, where only EVs will be allowed, incentivising incubators and EV startups., increasing awareness, offering subsidies for charging infra cos,’ are steps that can help in improving India’s prospects as a potential EV hub going forward.