Following the Paris agreement in 2015, India announced its commitment to reduce its emission intensity by 2030. However, it is going to be a herculean task, unless India goes the whole hog in adopting less carbon-emitting ways, especially in the automobile sector. If we see the numbers, India has a long way to go where electric vehicles (EVs) can play a big role. This article takes a look at how electric vehicles are gearing up as a solid industry.
The number of electric cars grew by about 300 per cent in the last decade. However, the absolute number is only around 4,000 electric cars on Indian roads, which is just about 0.1 per cent of close to 3.5 million cars sold in the last year. The number shows that the EV ecosystem is yet to take shape. But when we see the half glass full, it also tells a story about the opportunity where automobile manufacturers can play a big role in filling the remaining half of the glass.
Essentially, India is a market that provides a tremendous opportunity in the EV space—just like it does in petrol and diesel car segments. The opportunity is so big that every player in the ecosystem can benefit from it. For Hyundai, EVs are going to be a key focus area when it comes to providing eco-friendly mobility solutions, overall. This aspect was well covered in their ‘Global Strategy 2025’, which was announced recently by Hyundai Motor Co.
Under ‘Strategy 2025’, they plan to build the capacity and capability so that they can sell 670,000 battery EVs and fuel cell EVs annually. Their plan also aims to offer most of our new models with an EV drivetrain by 2030 in major markets and by 2035 in emerging markets. Needless to mention that in the above-stated strategy, India will be one of the most important markets for the
Their strategy goes in tandem with the government’s plan of promoting electric mobility in the next decade. It has a set a target of 30 per cent electric vehicles on Indian roads.
Just like Hyundai and other automobile firms, the government is doing laudable work in creating an enabling environment for EVs. Recently, the GST Council reduced the taxes on EVs from 12 to 5 per cent.
Similarly, to promote ‘Made In India’ EVs, the finance minister increased the customs duty on completely built units and SKD to 40 and 30%, respectively. This will definitely boost Indian manufacturing of EVs.
Similarly, Phase 2 of the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles) scheme is now gathering momentum, which again will augur well for the EV ecosystem, including charging and battery change infrastructure in the country.
Achieving the target of 30 per cent electric mobility by 2030 looks challenging, and investment, innovation, research and development (R&D) across the right technologies will be key. What will also be crucial is the affordability factor and more than that the mindset of the common man.
India’s commitment towards cleaner mobility is commendable and the automobile sector has to do its bit to make it possible. Currently, the sector as a whole is religiously working towards implementing the BS-VI emission norms. However, this probably would not be enough, considering the millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions the sector contributes. It needs long-term solutions, which lies in electric mobility. At least as of now!
EV manufacturers in the automobile sector are taking various steps.
From charging infrastructure to investment in R&D for EV products suitable for the Indian roads, the industry is up for the task. It is indeed heartening to see that all the stakeholders are working towards one common goal, which is going to shape up a cleaner world, a cleaner tomorrow!
This is a challenging time for the whole industry, be it OEMs or suppliers, and this is not just the case in India. Globally, the automotive industry is going through a difficult phase. However, automakers are confident that the industry will bounce back. Automakers have always responded to changing trends, regulations, business models and so on, and have been consistently investing in technology. Being future-ready is the way to tackle any temporary slowdown in the industry.
2-wheelers and 3-wheelers offer scalable areas for electric vehicle. These two segments have successfully adopted EVs as it is a win-win business preposition. Anil Kumar MR, MD, SEG Automotive, says, “EV success in 2- and 3- wheelers is due to its ROI. The fleet version of EV—e- rickshaws have been successful across the nation. When we speak about passenger vehicle segment, payback of which extends beyond 10 years. This makes 4-wheelers, as of now not a viable option. In future with more advances in technology and reduced battery costs will help 4-wheeler segment to thrive.”
Kumar adds, “3-wheelers will undergo further improvement as e-rickshaw manufacturers also have a stable business model. Fleet will drive Indian EV industry for some years. Post 2025, we may see some new developments in the EVs which will make it a viable option for passenger car segment as well.”
Currently 3-wheelers remain as a scalable business area for EV manufacturers. 48 v mild hybrid systems are very much in demand for the 3-wheeler segment. Additionally are offering hybrids for 4-wheelers as well.
In a nutshell, looking at the current pace of Indian EV industry, India seems to be a bit slower but is still on its path to achieve its goals, a bit later than the deadlines already set. Until then buses, public transport and light commercial vehicles will see a change in its drivetrains. Total cost of ownership of having an EV will also come down with technology developments and further reduction in battery weights as well. India also needs a clear roadmap for e-mobility in India. Technologies need continuous upgrades with more investments are required for the same. One of the top priorities should be to set up an infrastructure to support electric mobility, for easy charging of electric vehicles. It is certain that in India two-wheelers and three-wheelers will drive initial growth for electric vehicles.