Electric vehicles buzz gains traction in India as e-car sales hit 2 mn mark globally

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New Delhi | September 13, 2017 4:56 AM

In India, the talk of moving towards electric vehicles may have suddenly gained currency but globally, innovation and environmental awareness has been gradually paving the way for such a transition with governments prodding the industry to develop and manufacture only electric vehicles (EVs).

Electric vehicles, electric vehicles use in india, electric vehicles salesAs a result, passenger EV sales for the first time breached the 2-million mark globally at the end-2016, still a blip compared with the 88.1 million passenger vehicles sold every year.

In India, the talk of moving towards electric vehicles may have suddenly gained currency but globally, innovation and environmental awareness has been gradually paving the way for such a transition with governments prodding the industry to develop and manufacture only electric vehicles (EVs). As a result, passenger EV sales for the first time breached the 2-million mark globally at the end-2016, still a blip compared with the 88.1 million passenger vehicles sold every year.

While Britain and France have decided not to allow petrol-run vehicles beyond 2040, Scotland has decided to phase out diesel vehicles by 2032. Taking a leaf out of the policy formulated by the European nations, China — the world’s second-largest car market — has also spoken about a likely decision to ban the sale of vehicles run on fossil fuels by 2040.

Though the combo passenger and commercial EV segment comprises just 0.2% of total new car sales globally, volumes have doubled over the last couple of years. In the US, the world’s largest car market, electric vehicle volumes have increased by 37% to 1.59 lakh vehicles and constitute 1.4% of total new car sales. In 2011, it stood at a mere 0.1%.

Most European countries are at the forefront of this EV revolution. In Norway, these vehicles form a third of the total passenger vehicles, while in the Netherlands, it is 6.4% and 3.4% in Sweden.

Analysts attribute this increase in sales of EVs to the significant decline in lithium-ion batteries. According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, the cost of these batteries would fall by 70% by 2030.

Albert Cheung, head of analysis, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, contends that by 2040 EVs will dominate anyway, thanks to falling battery prices and consumer adoption. “In this year’s modelling exercise, we find that more than half of new car sales (54%) will be EVs by 2040 — a much more aggressive figure than the 35% we forecast a year ago,” said Cheung.

Leading carmakers like Jaguar Land Rover have decided to manufacture only hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020. Swedish carmaker Volvo has also announced that all the new offerings will include electric drive by 2019, and Volkswagen, the world’s second largest carmaker, expects 25% of total sales to come from EVs in the next few years.

Online cab aggregator Uber also plans to phase out all the diesel vehicles from London by 2019. Even Germany’s Daimler and BMW are aiming to garner around 15-25% of their total sales from EVs by 2025.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the US, the EU and China contribute to 90% of the total EV volumes.

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