As the share of electric vehicles on Indian roads continue to surge, Prime Minister Modi, during his speech on the 76th Independence Day, underlined the country’s need to become “Aatmanirbhar” (self-reliant) in its energy sector.
With the aim of reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuel imports, Modi said that it’s time for the country to “reach the next level for energy independence”.
This is particularly relevant as India’s imports of thermal coal, used mostly for electricity generation jumped to 19.6 million tonnes as its overall coal imports hit a record high in June earlier this year. Unless India cuts its dependence on coal as an energy source, it’s a long way ahead for electric vehicles to become truly green.
The country has been actively investing to enhance its solar energy production, adoption of biofuels alongside pushing the pedal to EV transition.
In line with its COP26 pledge, the country is aggressively switching to EVs and plans to convert 30 per cent of its private cars, 70 per cent of commercial vehicles (CVs), and 80 per cent of two-and-three wheelers to electric vehicles by 2030. Not only it will help in reducing the carbon emissions on a massive scale but is estimated to save up to Rs 20 lakh crore on oil imports alone.
The government, in line with its persistent push towards EV adoption, has rolled out several policies such as the Rs 26,058 crore PLI scheme to facilitate the indeginous production of EVs, FCEVs, and drones in the country.
Nitin Kapoor, MD, Saera Electric Auto said, “For sustainable growth of the EV infrastructure in India, there is a need to significantly reduce the dependence on imports. Hence, the PM’s call for self-reliance will be a motivation for the domestic players in the sector and will also effectively increase investment in the manufacturing, production and sale of EVs. The industry players will now have to tap the growing opportunities in areas like semiconductors and EVs.”
Also, the amendment of the FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles-II) scheme has helped reduce the price gap between conventional petrol-powered two-wheelers and electric ones, thanks to the increased subsidy rates and incentivising up to 40 per cent of the vehicle cost as compared to 20 per cent initial cap.
Nemin Vora, CEO, Odysse Electric Vehicles, said, “We are appreciative of the government’s efforts to encourage the use of electric vehicles and solar energy transport mode. With the recent unfortunate incidents in the EV segment, manufacturers are taking extra measures to ensure safety and security of users. The government’s efforts to encourage EV usage is evident with a new expert committee put in place to strengthen standards for batteries used in electric vehicles.”
At present, India is the third-largest oil importer in the world as the country relies on imports for up to 80 per cent of its crude requirement.
Rakesh Koneru, Founder, ElectronEV said, “To promote electric vehicles in the country, Govt has already increased incentives and PLI schemes for 2/3/4 wheelers. With this, approved set up for charging stations on a scale of 100k and introduce a battery swapping policy with interoperability standards. Also, Rs. 25,000 crores of foreign investments have poured into India just in the EV segment. India is positioned extremely well geographically, economically, and diplomatically to be a manufacturing hub in south Asia and an alternative to outsourcing manufacturing.”
Solar, Geothermal, Wind, Biomass, and Hydropower energy are some of the renewable sources that must be utilised on a large scale so as to maximise the benefits of adopting electric mobility systems. In its bid to ensure green mobility, Tata Power, a leading EV charging infrastructure provider, had recently deployed 150 green energy-powered EV stations in Mumbai.