Electric Mobility

In India, there is growing interest among policymakers to encourage EV-based mobility in cities and phase out fossil fuel consuming Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) driven vehicles in view of three major imperatives.

  • To reduce petroleum imports and thus secure the country’s energy supply
  • To reduce carbon footprint of the economy by leveraging higher efficiency of EV over ICE vehicle and through effective off-take of renewable energy
  • To reduce vehicular emissions of particulate matter, different polluting gases and GHGs

Considering the long-term benefits of electrification of vehicle fleet, in 2013 the Government of India (GoI) launched the National Electric Mobility Mission (NEMM) 2020 which aims at gradually realizing a vehicle population of about 6-7 million electric/hybrid vehicles in the country. It estimated an investment requirement to the tune of Rs. 140,000 million during the span of the scheme, including industry contribution out of which Rs. 6,030 to 8,340 million would be required for developing charging infrastructure.

To incentivize adoption of EVs and associated investments, in the 2015-16 Union Budget GoI introduced the scheme Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and manufacturing eco-system. The scheme identifies four focus areas — Technology Development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure.

Recently, the GoI has expressed an intent to achieve 100% electric mobility by 2030. A few states such as Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh have formulated state policies for creating an ecosystem for EV.

The road to realize such a major paradigm shift is not without challenges. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the association for automobile companies in India, has expressed apprehensions about feasibility of fully replacing the conventional ICE vehicles in all new passenger vehicle sales by 2030. Some experts have also shared their concerns regarding the impact of complete electrification of the vehicle fleet in India.

Five key questions which need to be addressed

  • How can setting up and operating charging stations be made a commercially viable business venture within the ambit of India’s legislative framework?
  • What could be the right charging methods/ technologies for EVs – plugging in (AC, DCFC) or battery swapping or other modes considering their suitability for different vehicle segments and charging needs?
  • How can EVs be utilized as a demand response resource and virtual power plants using V2G functionality?
  • What could be the possible international trade dynamics evolving around EV industry and how it might impact India’s EV market?
  • What could be the possible implications of electrification of vehicle fleet on India’s effort to achieve its NDC goals?

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