Electrifying the future of mobility and debunking EV myths | The Financial Express

Electrifying the future of mobility and debunking EV myths

The advancements in the Indian EV sector have been further augmented and accelerated by slew of policies and initiatives introduced by the Government of India and various State Governments.

Electrifying the future of mobility and debunking EV myths
Anant Badjatya, CEO, Sun Mobility

Anant Badjatya

Over the last few years, the transformation of the electric vehicle industry in India has been nothing short of revolutionary. The country has witnessed a first-of-its-kind convergence of evolving energy consumption, shared economy culture, and enhanced connectivity that are now collectively driving the future of mobility in India spearheaded by EVs. These mobility systems also continue to evolve as a result of emerging business models and technological advancements, thereby having an unparalleled impact on mobility as a whole.

The advancements in the Indian EV sector have been further augmented and accelerated by slew of policies and initiatives introduced by the Government of India and various State Governments. The extent of the positive impact that these reforms have had on the industry can be witnessed in the IVCA-EY-IndusLaw report that states that over 3,30,000 EVs were sold in 2021 and suggests this number will breach the 90 lakh mark by 2027. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently reaffirmed that the EV sector in India has a bright future.

Electric vehicles constitute an extremely promising space in the Indian automotive industry which is a sector that contributes significantly to the country’s domestic economy. However, the nation’s robust auto sector and high domestic demand for automobiles are not without their own share of challenges and preconceived notions.

In India, a large chunk of automotive parts is still imported from other countries, and the exponential growth of the EV industry has only increased our reliance on these imports. It is important for the entire electric vehicle ecosystem of the country to work symbiotically and build its own indigenous supply chain. The country, apart from its own unique mix of vehicles, largely 2 and 3 wheelers, also experiences a range of diverse climatic and operating conditions, which necessitates the production of more robust EV systems that are designed and engineered to operate safely in our environment. Another challenge impacting the Indian automotive and electric vehicle market is the cost effectiveness of components, thereby encouraging domestic companies to develop more economical solutions for the country.

Apart from these challenges, the local electric vehicle industry continues to face skeptical customers and users due to an abundance of myths surrounding EVs concerning technology readiness, performance, range, safety, cost effectiveness and eco-friendliness. While general perception is that EV technology is not matured enough, people discount the fact that some of the key elements in EVs such as motors have been commonly used in other applications such as pumps, lifts, cranes, etc and lithium batteries have been used in several consumer electronics and off-road vehicle applications for decades. Today’s new age EV models say from Ather or Piaggio have been displaying the performance (especially in terms of torque and load carrying capacity) that is not only at par but also excelling competing ICE vehicles.

EVs today also offer enough range per charge that can take care of more than 90% of daily commuting requirements. On top of this, battery swapping approach enables users to get practically unlimited range by simply swapping the drained batteries in a few minutes. With battery swapping networks getting wider and denser every day, range anxiety is becoming a thing of past. While there have been a few untoward incidents related to safety in EVs, the percentage of the no. of EVs operating across the world would still be lesser against an equivalent ICE vehicle scenario. SUN Mobility has an operational experience of over 40M km of EVs using its swappable batteries without any such issues.

Another common misconception is that EVs do not necessarily reduce pollution but simply displace it as our Indian grid is largely powered by coal. This perception is entirely misplaced, as automotive tailpipe emissions are one of the major causes of urban air pollution and reasons for a bunch of health ailments for urbanites. EVs even though powered by Indian grid have no tailpipe emission thus directly impacting urban air pollution (we will soon witness these effects in Delhi as the ratio of EVs reach a threshold). Also, the higher efficiency of thermal power plants and EVs respectively impact in overall lower emissions vis-à-vis Internal Combustion Engine-based vehicles for same distance travelled.

As more companies foray into the EV industry, the ecological benefits of EV will become more apparent, and in doing so, will dispel these myths and subsequently will reduce the roadblocks that currently exist for electric mobility.

Considering the fast-paced transformations observed in this industry, businesses will have a better chance to grow through synergies and collaborations where automakers, engineers and research teams share their knowledge with the government, energy solution providers, and other relevant stakeholders associated with this space. All the factors leading up to the success of the local EV market will further empower Indian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and battery producers to build contemporary solutions that are not only viable for the domestic market but can be eventually supplied to other developing countries and replicated in those markets. This will bolster the potential that the country has to emerge as a global leader in electric mobility.

The author is Anant Badjatya, CEO Sun Mobility

Disclaimer:Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited.

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