Future of electric vehicles in India ?

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By Chitwan Sharma in New Delhi

Are Electric Vehicles inevitable?

The short answer is Yes. Crude oil, as we all know, is an exhaustible resource and in this day and age, more than 1 billion vehicles run on fossil fuels. But unfortunately, the era of the internal combustion engine is coming to an end sooner than we thought. It is a fact that fossil fuel-powered vehicles are contributing substantially to the global climate crisis. According to WHO, India is home to 14 out of 20 most polluted cities worldwide. The transition to EVs will improve this scenario not just in India but globally. Electric vehicles can reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage.

The Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, Nitin Gadkari said, “Automakers have to move to electric vehicles, whether they like it or not”. With an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government had launched the FAME India scheme ( Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles). The primary objective of the scheme is to push for EV adoption. By 2030, the government aims to make India a 100- percent electric vehicle nation.

Global automotive markets are changing rapidly. Major manufacturers are beginning to shift away from the internal combustion engine to producing hybrid or fully electric models. The leader of the revolution in the market is Tesla Inc. Indian public had been demanding the introduction of the much-hyped Tesla in the Indian Market. Nitin Gadkari announced that American company Tesla will be launching their cars in India for sale in 2021. Currently, there are 8 electric cars on sale in India. The Jaguar I-pace is the most expensive EV on sale in India while the Storm Motors R3 is the cheapest. The Homegrown Tata Nexon EV and the Tigor EV are the most reasonably priced options in the Indian Market. But the question is, how many people are actually going for EVs in India? At the end of March 2020, the total number of registered EVs in India stood at only half a million.

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According to the study by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW)’s Centre for Energy Finance, India needs a cumulative investment of over $180 billion in vehicle production and charging infrastructure until 2030 to meet India’s EV goals. The average Indian consumer, according to surveys, would not even consider purchasing an electric vehicle because the technology is still lacking some things. EVs are not there yet, either they’re too expensive or they’re too short-ranged. There’s also a lack of powerful charging stations on highways. That’s why EVs can’t be taken on long-distance trips through highways yet.

Still, the market of EVs is growing gradually in India as there are many benefits of Electric Vehicles over conventional petrol or diesel cars. They are cheaper to run, cheaper to maintain and cheaper to register. EVs are something that is necessary for our survival especially when the pollution level is at its peak. Thus, the adoption curve has started for EV. For sure it would take some time, but E- Vehicles will take over the world within a maximum time frame of three decades.

(chitwan.work30@gmail.com)

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