Stepping up focus on the electric vehicle sector will help Tamil Nadu achieve its target of becoming a $1-trillion economy by 2030-2031, according to a latest Ficci -Deloitte report. The report, “Towards One Trillion: Accelerating Tamil Nadu’s Progress to Become a Trillion-Dollar Economy”, highlights that given the need to become a global leader in EV automobiles, the focus today needs to be on the well-established automotive cluster in the Chennai-Kancheepuram-Chengalpattu-Tiruvallur corridor besides utilising the existing auto-manufacturing infrastructure and industry presence.
The state has already put its best foot forward with the advent of the Tamil Nadu EV policy 2023 , identifying key EV cities in the state—Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai, Salem and Tirunelveli.“Given the infancy of this sector in the state, the state will need to intervene in infrastructure creation, start-up support, and social development. In addition to the already proposed EV park in Hosur and Manalur, TN could also enable the setting up of key technology nerve centres along the corridor, linking the identified cities in the policy,” the report said.The R&D nerve centre ecosystem could enable start-ups to have co-working spaces located alongside OEM/ tier-1 R&D centres.
Further, OEMs can offload new research activities to interested start-ups and acquire technologies from them. OEMs and start-ups could also work together on adapting EV aproduction technologies for Indian MSMEs to push localisation, it said.Besides supply-side interventions, citizen-centric policy changes may be adopted to enable the increase in demand of the electric automotive sector within the state. The current EV policy aims to convert 30% of bus fleets (60,000 vehicles) in public transport and educational institutions to EV by 2030.
Apart from public transportation, the state can also consider providing government-backed finance assistance for auto drivers to acquire and operate electric vehicles via usagebased payment plans, incentivising private owners by offering public charging infrastructures and battery swap stations and subsidising the cost of electric vehicles via rebates on the state goods and services tax.The report said EV conversion can also be achieved via EV retrofitting. Retrofit kits for existing autos can help with electrification goals, and battery standardisation with retro fit kits can help push battery swap infrastructure as well. These changes will increase demand and make the public more open to adopting EV.