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Electric Vehicles: The new normal in Indian Market. Yet?

With electric vehicles setting foot in the Indian market, is it too soon to say that they are becoming the new normal? Undoubtedly EV’s have found solid ground for existence and sustenance on Indian streets. May it be the concerns for environmental damage, pollution, worsening air quality, or unacceptably high petrol and diesel prices? With so many issues arising, the EV’s might feel like a possible solution, but the question is, “Is India ready to give up on its long-lived legacy of owning fossil fuel-powered vehicles?”

With the Indian Government’s pledge to replace the entire automotive population with its electrical substitute by 2030 coming into the picture, the Indian market has already started to notice changes. Soon, Indian roads started witnessing electric three-wheelers, busses, bicycles and with Ather launching India’s first gearless scooters in June 2018, and Intellicorp launching its first AI-enabled electric motorcycles in August 2019 Indian roads went EV crazy. And then there was no looking back.

Today, the Indian market is flooded with brands launching their electric vehicles with each passing day; motorbikes, bicycles, gearless scooters and four-wheelers all can be seen. According to an article published recently by The New Indian Express, the skyrocketing prices of petrol and diesel have been the trigger behind the increase in EV sales in India. Also, due to various policies brought in by the Indian Government and the Governments of the states EV’s have finally found existence in the Indian economy, and the chances of survival seem relatively reasonable.

Why electric vehicles? If one may ask. The answer is very simple.

They provide a more extended range from about 150-200Kms/charge depending upon the battery used.

  • Electric vehicles use a renewable source of energy for operation, electricity.

  • Electricity has an lesser carbon footprint than that of petrol, diesel and CNG.

  • Electric engines are silent engines, hence lesser noise pollution.

  • The production of electricity is way cheaper than fossil fuels.

  • EV’s are gearless vehicles; hence easier to operate.

  • Lesser pollution results in a healthier environment.

  • Lesser Carbon emission means lesser pollution.

  • Resulting in cheaper charging expenses.

  • Can be charged at your convenience.

  • The maintenance cost is lower.

With the Government launching so many subsidy schemes on national and state levels to support EVs in the Indian market. Electric vehicles are not only proving out to be environmentally friendly, but they are a great soother to one’s pocket. Also, they are undoubtedly a cleaner and healthier alternative. Maybe these advantages have resulted in electric vehicles taking the Indian market by storm. If we consider the daily news these days, it won’t be wrong to say that the sales of electric two-wheelers have gained incredible momentum.

Reports of outlets selling their entire batch of vehicles in a few hours are surfacing from various cities across India. That too within a few days. New industries and more and more automotive manufacturing giants are investing in producing and launching electric vehicles in India. Around a total of ‘20+ manufactures’ have joined in this race to make 2 wheeler EV’s available to the Indian riders. Almost all existing car manufacturers are coming up with electrical hybrids of their existing models for their customers. Aiding in their economic situation amid these rising prices of petrol and diesel.

Although this may sound all very encouraging, India still has many more issues to look after before going completely electric. Many questions arise when thinking of investing in an electric vehicle.

Challenge 1: Manufacturing of Lithium-ion batteries: India may have given the automotive industries the authority to manufacture their electric vehicles, but the sour truth remains that the battery used in them are not widely manufactured in India. The battery is still required to be imported into the country. Moreover, even lithium that is used for making the batteries is not available in India. Solution: To counter this, many Lithium-ion battery manufacturing plants have been set up across the country. According to a news published by The Indian Express on June 28-2021, India’s first Lithium refinery will process Lithium ore to produce battery-grade material will be set up in Gujarat.

Challenge 2: Charging Infrastructure: for India to completely let electronic vehicles overturn the automobile sector charging its batteries is also a matter of concern. No matter how high the sales are running, for now, the truth about the charging stations is known to all.

Solution: To overcome this challenge, the Ministry of Power has issued “Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles – Guidelines and Standards”. Focusing on mentioning the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders at the Central & State level. Ministry of Power has designated the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) as the Central Nodal Agency (CNA) for the country’s national-level rollout of charging infrastructure.

Challenge 3: Availability of lithium: though India has brought in various measures to aid the availability of lithium-ion batteries in India, the truth is that lithium itself is not abundantly available in nature. The resources are limited, just like fossil fuels. Solution: Scientist has already started taking measures to tackle this issue; many alternatives have already been introduced for becoming the alternatives to lithium-ion batteries.

Though it may be very early to agree on the statement that electric vehicles have become the new normal for the Indian market, it is not wrong to say that they have marked their presence on a positive note. The Indian market has welcomed and accepted the EV’s to reform their automotive industries for good, and they are here to stay.

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