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Future of Electric Vehicles in India

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by Saloni Bisht

“Why wouldn’t you try to make the future better, if you are going to be a part of it.” — Elon Musk

Out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 14 are in India. To name some, Kanpur, Delhi, Gurgaon, Varanasi, Patna and so on, which makes India one of the most polluted countries. India is one of the hazardous nations in the world to breathe, besides Bangladesh and Georgia. The reasons behind the frequently increasing level of pollution are over usage of private vehicles, traffic jams, burning of garbage or plastic, and dust storms.  This is an alarming situation which is getting worse every year and causing harm to both humankind and environment. This beseeches the government’s responsibility to act on it immediately.

In this circumstance, the world has acknowledged Electric vehicles (EVs), as one of the conceivable ways out of the mare’s nest of increasing pollution. EV is being adopted rapidly as a tool to fight against increasing pollution and as well as fuel resource crisis. In the coming years, EVs hold the potential to be the mainstream means for transportation. Looking at the scope, the majority of automotive manufacturers are now investing a large portion of their resources in the research and development of electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the question arises;  where does India fit in the entire scheme of power-driven vehicles worldwide?

The Indian government had a strategy to convert the entire fleet of vehicles to electric run completely by 2030, making India the largest market for electric vehicles in the world. But according to the Bloomberg’s report, there are certain uncertainties on India being a big player in the electric vehicles market. One of the major reasons is extremely low average automobile prices in the country, hence, people will choose an electric vehicle only when the prices will drop. The report also believes that EVs will establish only 40% of the total passenger vehicle fleet in India by 2040.

Towards the end of 2017, there were just 6,000 electric cars running on the roads of India, which is very less when compared to the total number of cars on the Indian roads. But according to the experts, the country will have better progress on electric two-wheelers, electric buses, and e-rickshaws in the span of 10 years.

By 2030, the government of India plans of having 30% electric vehicles on roads which is a much more achievable goal than the previous one (becoming a 100% EV country by 2030).

Here are few a specifics about National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020

  • The target is to position 5 to 6 million Electric Vehicles in the country by 2020
  • Highlights the prominence of government incentives and coordination between industry and academia
  • The target is to install 400,000 passenger battery electric cars by 2020, which will result in evading 120 million barrels of oil and 4 million tons of CO2
  • Lowering of vehicular productions by 1.3 percent by 2020
  • The overall investment is estimated to be between–INR 20,000 to 23,000 crore

All the above mentioned points and not to forget the most significant factor that will operate this system, i.e., power stations, therefore, there is a need for the state-owned services to invest in charging set-up as well. Though, it seems challenging as the financial well-being is not proportionate with state-owned electric utilities in rest of the world. On the other hand, including private companies will be really accommodating. But due to the lack of demands for EVs and questionable electricity supply, the private companies lose the interest in investing in this sector. But nevertheless India is the land of opportunity, especially when it comes to technology, all it needs is little time to make stronger roots.

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