When our Honourable Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari announced in 2017 that India would move to 100% electric mobility by 2030, the automotive fraternity was stunned as the target seemed too ambitious. Later, the decision was revised to 30% by 2030. However, come 2021, things are fast transforming in favour of the previously set target for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
The government is rolling out new incentives, schemes and benefits to promote EVs in the country. Gradually, the concerns of fast charging and long-range in single charge are also being sorted with upgraded EVs being introduced in the Indian auto market. What once seemed impossible is getting acceptance in this part of the world.
Expediating the transition are the fuel prices which are rising at an alarming rate. The recently approved car scrapping policy is likely to work in favour of EVs as well.
Let’s have a glance at what’s happening in the electric vehicle niche in India.
1. Government initiatives
In February 2021, Delhi CM launched the ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign for EV promotion. It creates awareness among the public about the Delhi government’s policies and other benefits for EV buyers. There is no road tax and registration fee on EVs in Delhi.
Half of the states of our country have either formulated or are in the process of formulation of EV policies that incentivise and motivate people to consider electric vehicles as their next purchase. Similarly, the central government is also focussing on setting up charging stations to manage the upcoming wave of electric vehicles in the country.
2. Skilled manpower
As electric vehicles will be the next big thing in the country, there will be a shortage of skilled manpower in this niche. Hence, the country’s youth is being encouraged to learn the skills essential to working in this sector.
Understanding the need, MG Motor has come forward to join hands with ISIE India to set up 100+ Centres of Excellence across the country for training and R&D in electric vehicles. There will be various courses and masters programs such as specialisation in EV, PG diploma programme in EV and HEV technologies and others.
3. Battery swapping stations
The concept of battery swapping stations is fast gaining momentum in India. Many automakers are coming up or preparing to develop such stations to lend EV users the convenience of charging. Since the challenge of fast charging of lithium-ion batteries still exists, swapping discharged batteries with fully charged ones is a great step towards encouraging the use of EVs.
Various battery companies have entered into joint ventures with OEMs, state government bodies, semi-government entities to expand their battery swapping stations across the length and breadth of the country.
In its bid to cut down CO2 emissions, the government constantly raises awareness about EVs and their schemes on EVs’ adoption. In a nutshell, the future of Indian vehicles looks all-electric with government backing and the initiatives of automakers.