By Namit Jain, Founder and CEO of Zen Mobility
The world is moving towards green mobility with the rapid adoption of electric vehicles which in turn is pushing the innovation scale with the introduction of certain policies to help India achieve its net zero goal. Electric Vehicles have made their way into several segments ranging from two-wheelers, three-wheelers, passenger cars and buses, in India. The sales of electric vehicles in these different segments rose by over 50% in the past few years demonstrating the shift of consumer preference towards electric vehicles. Here are some of the key trends that are driving the green mobility movement and accelerating these trends will further expedite adoption of electric vehicles.
Flexibility with skateboard platform
With OEMs making ground-up platforms for EV instead of deriving it from ICE platform, they are adding a lot more flexibility to design EVs. With a skateboard platform, the OEMs are empowered to make vehicles of different lengths and body styles. Moreover, the same platform can be used to develop commercial vehicles to ferry goods with a good cargo capacity as well as passengers while adopting a different body style.
Purpose Built Vehicles for Last Mile Delivery
EVs have a significant market share in the last-mile delivery market which is primarily dominated by two-wheelers and three-wheelers. As last-mile delivery involves the delivery of goods of different shapes and sizes and need to be kept at a specific temperature, the vehicles are not utilized efficiently as they have a standard storage bay which can be used for everything. With purpose-built vehicles, logistics companies are able to optimize resources and draw maximum efficiency while reducing cost as they are able to utilize the entire volume of the storage space. Purpose-built vehicles will further promote the adoption of EV as they would help in efficient operation of the entire fleet.
Advanced powertrain components
The electric motors are advancing with time, enabling silent operations while minimizing transmission losses. This ensures optimum power delivery and increased range for the vehicles. Battery manufacturers are now shifting to 21,000 cell architecture from 18,000 cell architecture as it permits the makers to pack more energy in the same volume capacity. With this, the vehicle is capable of delivering higher range as the battery capacity will be higher while occupying the same area.
Increased affordability of Li-Ion Cells
The government announced continuation of custom duty exemption on import of Li-Ion cells and also announced exemption of custom duties on import machinery and capital goods for the manufacturing of Li-Ion Cells in India. Further adding to it, the recent discovery of Li-Ion mines in India will further increase the availability of Li-Ion cells in India and reduce the dependence on import. With this, the cost of Li-ion batteries will
reduce in the next few years further reducing the investment to purchase an electric vehicle as batteries contribute close to 60% of the total EV cost.
The downtime of EVs during charging is what is preventing adoption of EVs. However with brands developing fast chargers, the charging time for EVs have significantly reduced while optimizing the utility of the vehicle. There has been considerable progress in the number of fast chargers present in India and the charging capacity offered by them. The country now has multiple 150 kWh charging stations and the fastest being 240 kWh charger that was installed in Kochi last year at a dealership.
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