Challenges in taking EVs to Indian masses

The past decade witnessed a boom in the electronic vehicle industry across the globe. However, in India, the lack of countrywide infrastructure brings to mind, "Is India ready for the future of transportation and electric vehicles?" 

Updated: Oct 22, 2021 12:06 PM
Ashutosh Verma, Founder of Exalta India

Keeping up with the global transport transformation towards electric vehicles, India had assembled a board that concentrated essentially on the Indian automobile manufacturing sectors. In 2015 a project aptly named “FAME” was begun with the main focus of assisting and promoting the Indian automobile industry to emerge and produce eco-friendly, hybrid and electric vehicles. FAME stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India. The electronic automobile mission plan has projected for 2026 for India to become a leader in the automobile industry.

The past decade witnessed a boom in the electronic vehicle industry across the globe. India, one of the biggest markets for vehicles, provides an excellent opportunity for Electric vehicle manufacturers. However, the lack of countrywide infrastructure brings to mind, “Is India ready for the future of transportation and electric vehicles?”

To answer this question, we all need first to recognize the difficulties that the EV industry faces and will have to endure if it will be the vehicle for the masses in a country as vast as India.

The significant challenges for an Electric Vehicle in India are:

Charging Infrastructure

While India has successfully established and run 927 electric vehicle charging stations across the country, the number is insignificant compared to the 50,000 plus petrol pumps the government has spread across the country and highways. India still needs to build and run multiple charging stations across the roads and expressways within city limits. Considering the market size for vehicles in the country, India still has a long way to successfully launch enough charging stations across the vast landscape the country covers.

Also, according to records, almost 85% of the charging of electric vehicles is done at the owner’s home. Thus, making it difficult for people living in large townships and those who need to travel intracity for work.

Lack Of Human Resource

Since Electronic Vehicles are still in their early stage of acceptance in India, the country faces a shortage of expertise and skills in the Electronic Vehicle industry. Thus, hindering innovation in the sector by the government. Furthermore, the lack of knowledge and desire to grow in the Electronic Vehicle sector also poses difficulties to foreign investors who find it challenging to gain assistance from human resources provided by the country.

Consumer Market

While electronic vehicles reduce the fuel expenses people pay after purchasing an electronic car, the initial investment of owning an electric vehicle intimidates and demotivates a large chunk of the Indian population. Moreover, starting at almost 13 lakhs, electric cars cost nearly three times more when compared to fuel-powered vehicles. Also, after purchasing an electric vehicle, the insurance amounts vary significantly, making people think multiple times before considering the switch from a fuel-powered car to an electric car.

Raw Materials

Electric vehicles use batteries made from Lithium. However, India does not have its Lithium resources and instead needs to import the compound. The dependency on imported Lithium batteries used in electric vehicles has heavily impacted the number of investors who consider investing in the electronic vehicle sector in the country.

India needs to get self-sufficient with raw materials required for the electronic vehicle industry and have a road map of how best to overcome the challenges of sources materials required in the sector before getting more substantial financial aid for the industry.

Despite these challenges and many more that the electronic vehicle sector may face in a country as vast and densely populated as India, the government can help the sector overcome these challenges with the proper planning and efforts and fulfil its vision of mass adoption of electric vehicle technology all over the country. Moreover, the growing demand and the government’s incentives that electronic vehicles have extended across India have ensued in multiple start-ups and companies changing their focus towards manufacturing more electric-based machinery and vehicles. In addition, big-name labels in the electric vehicle sector are ardent about penetrating the Indian market with cars and two-wheelers suited for the Indian roads and driving territories.

With the enormous interest and investors intent on investing in India’s electric vehicle journey and the government aids extended to those buying and trading electric vehicles, the future of Electric vehicles in India looks positive. As a result, the country may manage to get a majority of its population to shift to a sustainable, eco-friendly mode of transport by 2030.

Author: Ashutosh Verma, Founder, Exalta India

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: 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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