India needs country-specific EV solutions to drive growth

EV adoption for passenger vehicles (PVs) is likely to be a mere 10% by the end of the period, amounting to a strikingly small 5% of total EV sales.

A recent study on electric mobility has noted that just about 30% of overall vehicles are likely to be electric in India by 2030, lower than the government’s hopes of electric vehicle (EV) sales accounting for 30% of private cars, 70% for commercial vehicles and 80% for two- and three-wheelers by 2030—as stated by minister Nitin Gadkari at a FICCI event in October 2021.

The study, ‘Unlocking India’s Electric Mobility Potential’ by management consultancy firm Arthur D Little, noted that “the EV industry will cross sales of 10 million vehicles by 2030, with an overall adoption rate of more than 30% across different vehicle categories.

However, EV adoption for passenger vehicles (PVs) is likely to be a mere 10% by the end of the period, amounting to a strikingly small 5% of total EV sales.”The study, however, added that if India were to truly unlock its ‘full potential’, adoption rate of 50% could be achievable with the sale of more than 17 million EVs by 2030.

“This reflects the ‘true potential’ of the Indian EV industry if all stakeholders come together and put a concerted effort in setting up a robust ecosystem in India,” the study noted.

Green shoots of that ‘full potential’ were visible in calendar year 2021 when EVs in India not only recorded highest-ever sales, but also high month-on-month growth rate despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s negative effect on the supply chain.

To better understand where we are heading on the path towards electric mobility, and how fast, the Financial Express organised the ‘First & Last Mile Mobility Conclave’, an event that brought together industry captains representing the government, automotive, last-mile delivery companies, battery and charging companies, e-commerce, and logistics platforms, amongst others.

The day-long event saw discussions on topics including ‘Making India Atmanirbhar In EV Manufacturing’, ‘Road ahead: Beyond FAME-II and state incentives’, ‘Challenges and opportunities in EV ecosystem’, ‘Road to climate-conscious delivery’, ‘Can India achieve its EV Vision 2030?’, ‘Emerging business models in the EV ecosystem’ and ‘Lease & Financing: The real catalyst behind EV growth’.The event concluded that the government is focusing on electric mobility because, among other things, it wants to reduce carbon emissions, urban air pollution and the country’s fuel import bill.

For logistics and e-commerce players, electric mobility not only will reduce their carbon footprint, but will also allow higher income for their fleet partners. A consensus amongst all participants was that government subsidies alone cannot help develop a thriving electric mobility ecosystem, and copy-paste solutions from other parts of the world will not benefit Indian industry. What India needs is India-specific EV solutions.

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