The call for Electric Vehicles

Ritika Gupta

As we all talk about the green environment, the first thing which looks very prominent is the air and its quality (AQI). Unfortunately, according to the WEF report on March 2020, the world’s 6 out of 10 most polluted cities were from India. The report also marked that New Delhi had the worst air quality of any capital city. Air pollution which is a reason for death to nearly 1.25 million citizens of India every year demands active result-oriented actions. Many factors together contribute to this poor picture and the obvious one is rapid urbanization. Rapid urbanization and travel demand have surged the number of vehicles running on Indian roads. As per the Indian Automobile Industry report by IBEF, in 2019 India became the 4th largest auto market by selling ~4 million units of vehicles in passenger and commercial segments.

The above scenario showcases the urgent need for Electric Vehicles in the nation for the benefit of a sustainable environment and explains the various steps taken by different stakeholders of the EV ecosystem which includes Government authority, manufacturers, battery providers, power companies, energy suppliers, and others. The government initiative of The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP), and Fame India Scheme worth mentioning. Similarly, India has been seeing active participation by Auto companies like Tata Motors, Hyundai, Mahindra, Maruti, MG Motors, Mercedes who have already launched electric vehicles in the market. On January 21, 2021, a remarkable announcement was made by Ola on its upcoming electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu with the support of the state government.

Under NATRiP, five testing and research centers have been established in the country since 2015. The Ministry of Heavy Industries, Government of India, has shortlisted 11 cities in the country for the introduction of EVs in their public transport system under the FAME scheme. Under phase II of FAME, the major focus will be on the deployment of electric busses on Indian roads. The government has also lowered the custom duty on imports of parts and components that are required for EVs from 15-30% to 10-15%. CBIC has also removed the custom duty exemption to battery packs for EVs which will result in only a 5% tax on its import. In the Paris agreement in 2015, India has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 33–35 percent by 2030 compared to 2005.

However, there are challenges of EV infrastructure, High-cost Lithium-ion batteries, and acceptability of high-cost Electric vehicles by Indian citizens. We hope to see remarkable steps by the stakeholders towards the easy acceptance of new technology by the consumers because it is important to equalize supply and demand for an effective result.