DRIVING FOR 100% EV MOBILITY
TA News Bureau :
Tesla founder Elon Musk has hailed India’s plans to sell only electric cars by 2030. He was responding to a tweet by Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of the $7 bn Mumbai-based multinational conglomerate. They were commenting on the launch in Nagpur – the third largest city in Maharashtra – India’s first fleet of electric vehicles, including taxis, buses, and e- rickshaws. The electric mass mobility ecosystem became operational late May with 100 e2o Plus, Mahindra’s electric car. Home-grown taxi aggregator OLA has invested Rs 500 million on the cars and the 50 plus charging points across four strategic locations in the city. It marked the government’s push to tie up with various industry partners in building the EV mobility plans from the ground up
The partnership between the Indian government and private enterprises to build an electric mass mobility ecosystem has resulted in the coming together of e-buses, e-cabs, and e-rickshaws that would operate as a pilot project out of Nagpur Airport Complex.
This will include Mahindra’s new e2o Plus electric hatchback, Kinetic’s e-rickshaws, e-vehicles from other OEMs, including Tata Motors, BYD, and TVS among others. The government has offered several tax breaks.
Federal Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the large-scale adoption of electric vehicles can bring monumental changes that are urgently needed to see India becoming a 100 per cent EV nation by 2030.
The project will be run by home-grown taxi aggregator OLA, in which Japanese investor bank SoftBank has about 40 per cent stake. OLA is also eying to become an electric car manufacturer where it is expected to partner with Toyota, news reports have indicated. With the SoftBank funds, OLA, plans to launch a million electric vehicles in the next five years on the back of government incentives.
Analysts say the pilot project signals the government’s drive to turn India into a 100 per cent EV nation by 2030. Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said in April that EV plans were aimed to reduce fuel imports, slash the cost of vehicle operations and strengthen greener environment.
A report released by the government think tank NITI Aayog points to the fact that every electric four-wheeler will save 28 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year. Additionally, EVs will also reduce the cost of travel, especially for taxis.
There have been reports that Elon Musk’s India plans to launch Tesla cars got delayed due to sourcing issues under the government’s Make in India plans. But the government has refuted these remarks.
Earlier in May, Musk had tweeted that the delay in entering the Indian market was that 30 per cent of the parts must be locally sourced. He remarked that domestic supply doesn’t yet exist in India to support that vision.
Mahindra has already invested Rs 6 billion in developing electric vehicles and is looking to develop next generation electric cars. It also has a team in Formula E, which is racing for electric cars.
Subsidies and incentives
In January this year the government had announced to bear up to 60 per cent of the cost in research and development for developing the indigenous low-cost electric technology. Figures show that there has been a 37.5 per cent rise in the sale of EVs in India, but electric cars form only 9.09 per cent of this so far.
In terms of costing, running EVs is cheaper. In Nagpur, the charging centres charge Rs 8 in comparison to one litre of petrol or diesel. These rates are set to further drop if charging is done during the night time. Moreover, the government’s intention is to completely eliminate petrol or diesel cars.
Fuelling such growth ambition is the decision by Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso to enter a tri-partite joint venture for setting up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in India. Batteries alone make up 50 per cent of the cost of an electric car.
A clear roadmap on EVs will be the government’s comprehensive EV plan that will be unveiled by the end of this year. It will cover both light and heavy vehicles.
Many home-grown companies are also getting into the EV bandwagon. There are suggestions that there should be deeper fiscal incentives to EV makers.
A NITI Aayog report has said by building consortia of manufactures, including batteries, common components for Indian OEMs, could help the country save $60 billion in diesel and petrol along with cutting down of as much as 1 gigatonne of carbon emissions by 2030.
Latest figures show that EV sales have risen 37.5 per cent to 22,000 units in fiscal 2016 from 16,000 in fiscal 2015. Only 2,000 of these were cars and other four-wheelers, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers has said. This is in contrast with the government plans to have six million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020.
When Tesla Model 3 comes to India, there will be no problems with regard to charging as the Indian edition will come with an India-specific supercharger network. Such chargers can power up Tesla cars from 0 to 100 per cent in roughly in 75 minutes.
Plans for manufacturing operations with gigafactory installations in India are strong due to the high demand for EV batteries. It is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to generate 175 Gigawatts of clean energy by 2022.
The objective of India’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is to achieve fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles. The target is to achieve 6-7 million annual sales of hybrid and electric vehicles from 2020 onwards. The government will provide fiscal and monetary incentives to kick-start EVs.
This programme is expected to save 9,500 million litres of crude oil equivalent to Rs. 620,000 million savings. The government has launched “Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME India)” under NEMMP 2020.
It is said that early market creation through demand incentive, in-house technology development and domestic production will help the industry reach self-sufficient economies of scale by around the year 2020.
India is now waiting to see strong development of EV ecosystem that will drastically transform India’s mobility scene.