India is Upbeat to become an Electric Vehicle Nation

Ayush Lohia, CEO, Lohia Auto IndustriesWith over 15 years of exposure in the industry, Ayush is an experienced chief executive officer who has robust background in the automotive sector

The future of EVs in fact looks quite promising for electric cars, electric bikes, e-auto and
e-rickshaws plying on Indian roads with government’s aims to make India a 100 percent electric vehicle nation by 2030. Also under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India Scheme) the government wants to see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020. These machines not only help users save money, but also promote a safe and clean environment which is the biggest health concern today in India. Therefore future is electrifying as it will reduce fossil fuel dependence and pollution, and prove beneficial for both consumers and the nation in the long run.

Hurdles in the current scenario
Customers don't foresee the benefits of buying these electric vehicles, due to lack of proper infrastructure. And capital required to create charging infrastructure requirement to meet the demands of mass market EV adoption is another challenge. Hence, lack of infrastructure poses big challenge as this leads to poor consumer interest. Also the EV Industry needs a long term policy for investment in the sector and incentive as customer inventive scheme is extended for 6 months only from last 2 stances.

Initiatives in 2017 has pinned positive hopes for the E-vehicles in 2018
Initiatives taken in 2017 have infused a positive environment for the EV players, initiatives such as the 'Quick pilot' by NitiAyog in 2017 aims to accelerate the acceptance and popularity of Electronic vehicles in the country. As per the proposal there will be rapid rollout of the infrastructure much needed to support electric vehicles in the Gurgaon-IGI-South Delhi-Noida corridor. The pilot will speed up the execution of the infrastructure development in Delhi, which will act as a dais for other cities across India, basis its effectiveness in Delhi. Under this proposal 55 locations have been shortlisted which will be endowed with 135 charging stations, out of which 46 are DC based quick charging stations while the rest 89 are comparatively slower AC charging stations. Furthermore, one of the major aims by NITI Aayog
to meet the deadline is via the use of replaceable batteries that can be switched at charging stations, instead of the vehicles lining up while connected to a charging cable.

And capital required to create charging infrastructure requirement to meet the demands of mass market EV adoption is another challenge. Hence, lack of infrastructure poses big challenge as this leads to poor consumer interest.

The year 2017 also witnessed the government’s move of “make in India lithium ion automobile batteries”. It has allowed companies including those from private sector to access the technology for mass production of Lithium-Ion batteries for electric vehicles. This was an optimistic move for the EV Industry and got a good response from the automobile companies, battery manufacturers and public sector undertakings that have showed earnest interest to produce the indigenous Lithium-ion batteries.This is a major boost for the e-bike players as they will be utilizing the revolutionary Lithium-ion technology for its battery packs. The Lithium-Ion batteries can be charged or discharged at any time irrespective of their existing charge levels and with this the demand will surely go up. With Lithium-ion technology the e-bike players will be able to offer exceptional total charging time which will be far lesser than that of any Lead Acid charging the in the market. It contributes not only towards saving the environment by saving precious and depleting fossil fuels but also gives an economically viable proposition compared to other IC Engine or Lead Acid based Electric Vehicles.

Also to boost the demand for EV’s the government has been offering subsidies on electric and hybrid vehicles of up to Rs29, 000 for bikes and Rs1.38 lakh for cars under FAME India Scheme.

This year the government has also called for auto companies to start manufacturing electric vehicles in India. Whilst few auto companies are already manufacturing electric vehicles in India, the government is working to speed up the process. In fact it is studying the global markets to come up with a policy surrounding electric mobility and storage.

The Industry Needs More Support From the Government
While there have been initiatives in favour of the growth of the EV Industry nonetheless more can be done by the government. It will be good if under new tax system, the government at least brings down the GST slab on electronic vehicles to 0-5 percent. Moreover, in times to come the government should encourage the sales by offering subsidies etc. so that demand for these vehicles goes up significantly and the plan should also be to make EV’s economically viable on its own. Also with the applicable rates for GST customer will gain comprehensive benefit. In addition control on the traders needs to be increased as they are the ones who distress the image of the industry due to the poor service offered by them.

Furthermore, in order to woo buyers, more capital needs to be pumped to create better charging infrastructure so as to meet the demands of mass market EV adoption. The initiatives of NitiAayog should have a greater focus on electric two wheeler products and they ought to include the electric rickshaw and battery operated three wheelers to run the pilot successfully. In addition emphasis should be laid on identifying a few more clusters to the Quick pilot considering the alarming current state of the affairs of pollution and emission caused by diesel and petrol vehicles. On the whole, with 2017 coming to an end, the industry has witnessed new policies favourable for the its growth, which was previously missing. Besides it has been successful in putting in place the incentive policies, which will lubricate in long term planning to move ahead for companies.