If you have been eyeing an outlandish four- wheeler off late, latest developments in the automobile industry suggest that you hold on to your fetish for a little longer. The environmental friendly electric cars are all set to make its debut in the Indian market. As India flags its way towards embracing the electric cars, diesel and petrol vehicles may soon lose popularity. Automakers as well as the government have been long gearing-up to launch the electric revolution in the country. It is anticipated that Indian roads may experience a completely new vehicle track by 2018 with a number of electric cars navigating the roads with an enhanced support system boosted by installation of increased number of charging stations.
Why you should consider waiting for the electric cars
Government’s partaking and its auto-policy: ‘Mahindra and Mahindra’ is the sole Indian manufacturer that has been selling electric cars in the country and is set to launch 2 new EVs before the end of 2019. These models could be exhibited in the 2018 Auto Expo. However, one player cannot bring about the auto-revolution required to meet the rising consumer demand across the country.
Electric mobility certainly needs a stronger spine and this can come only with the government’s participation and backing. Recent data reveals that the Government is in the process of placing orders for 10,000 electric cars with the private automakers. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (ESSL) is the state-run firm which has placed the orders and seeks to drive adoption of electric vehicles across the country. While the first bidding phase is over, Tata Motors is expected to supply around 250 cars, with M&M supplying 150 to meet the demand of the first phase. EESL is expected to lease out these vehicles for plying in service of the government departments.
As reported by the Economic Times, “The government has set an ambitious target of having only electric cars by 2030”. In September Nitin Gadkari, India’s Union Road Transport and Highways Minister cautioned automakers stating the urgency to meet the target, “We should move towards alternative fuel… I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you. I will bulldoze it”.
As far as policy changes are concerned, in order to ramp up the transition, government will try to curtail manufacture of petrol and diesel run vehicles in its efforts to incentivise its electric equivalents. While the government seeks to set out its new policy promoting use of electric cars, a draft is likely to feature publicly by the year end. The policy will reflect the paradigm shift from its promotion of hybrid cars to that of electric vehicles. Currently, the sale of electric cars in India is negligible owing to high-battery costs making it expensive and unreachable for the buyers.
Infrastructural challenges and interventions
Though electric mobility in India is challenged by the lack of infrastructural support, especially when it comes to charging stations; the mass government order and estimated future remit is expected to propagate construction of more charging stations. Today, India has 56000 fuel stations as compared to only 200 charging stations. However, Indian Oil Corporation’s effort towards establishing a charging station at a petrol pump in Nagpur is a positive development in the sector. With more cars hitting the roads, additional charging stations are expected to crop up in the following year.
Prominent industry players sparking off the electric race
Suzuki Motors and Toyota Motors are all set to join in manufacturing and selling electric vehicles in India within the next 3 years. Today, Suzuki sells high in the Indian market through its local unit Maruti. RC Bhargava, the Chairman of Maruti Suzuki expressed to the media that, “We will make electric cars but I can’t give you the date just now because it is all very much a work in progress”. With involvement of such mass-production company in rolling out electric cars, adoption rate is expected to be high and swift. Honda Cars India Limited, the Indian subsidiary of the Japanese carmaker also has an electric vehicle strategy that closely aligns with the requirements of the Indian automobile industry.
The company has been assessing the possibilities of developing country specific battery run electric vehicles as an initiative to address the issues of appropriateness and affordability under Indian traffic conditions. At the global level, Honda expects nearly 65% of its sale to be channelized from electrified cars by 2030. Honda joining auto-manufacturers like Toyota and Suzuki to cater to India’s electric sprint will inspire more in the industry to partner in the rising trend. Hyundai, the Korean car company has already been exploring the green mobility solution for the Indian auto market. With such global performers in the run, setting up of charging stations, staff training and service delivery will surely find its infrastructural support. Let’s join in the e-revolution!
Article by Rochita.