– by Anushree Ghosh
Urbanization and population explosion have been a major cause of concern over the last few years in India. The drastic change in technology has transformed the mobility of Indian citizens. Also, in a country like India that is a power deficit and struggling to cope with pollution issues, electric-vehicles space has a huge potential to grow. India’s transport demand has grown by 8 times since 1980 (as cited in the World Bank data), as a result of which, we have witnessed huge demand in the auto industry; with more consciousness towards the environment, can we expect a surge in the demand of the electric vehicles? Even if the answer is yes, there is a long way to go before India becomes e-vehicle friendly.
The two options available for charging e-vehicles are: charging stations and swappable batteries. Therefore, the most important requirement for the smooth functioning of e-vehicles is the availability of charging stations. Every driver must be able to connect his car to an electric source, whether at home or public facility. We know that recharges are mostly done at home, but still, we can’t deny that charging infrastructure is needed if we want to penetrate this section of transportation. The speed at which the vehicles get charged is directly proportional to the technology.
Despite the government’s constant effort to shift the focus on the purchase of e-vehicles, we have not observed any substantial growth in the segment. There are several reasons for this:
- Absence of a Strong Policy: There are no concrete policies related to the use of Electric Vehicles in India, and with the lack of clarity, people don’t want to deal in a market that shows no progress and profitability.
- Lack of resources: India has no lithium or cobalt reserves; therefore, the production of Electric Vehicles depends on the import of resources from other countries. This leads to virtually no production in the domestic land and the depreciating rupee hinders import also.
- Infrastructural Hindrance: India does not have the required infrastructure to support Electric Vehicles. If the power runs out, the driver would be stuck in the middle with no means to get back home. The government can’t concentrate on building charging stations when the other major concerns like roads and bridges already are in the queue for development.
- Lack of training: We don’t have trained personals who can provide services in maintaining an Electric Vehicle. India doesn’t even have the provision of providing training to people who want to explore this opportunity.
India needs to leverage private investment in building the Electric Vehicle segment. A lot of customization is required to suit the existing demands of the transport industry. A two-way approach of combining renewable resources and electric vehicle transportation could help in curbing the environmental needs of the country.