Time for auto industry to go all electric
Context- The government has been working to effect a radical shift in our energy production and consumption patterns to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
-According to last year’s National Electricity Plan (NEP3) forecast, India will achieve, ahead of schedule, the target of renewable energy being 40% of total power production by 2030, declared at the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015.
- It was declared at the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015.
NITI Ayog Reports-
1.The government intends that all vehicles sold in India by 2030 should be electric.
2. A recently released NITI Aayog report on mobility transformation outlines a feasible and phased approach to achieve this goal.
3. It presents the government’s vision of a shared, electric and connected mobility paradigm where mobility is a service based on an electric vehicle (EV) fleet,
- enabled by the convergence of low-cost technologies
- business model innovation and supportive policies.
Government Approach- The government is leading by example, committing to go all electric for government-use vehicles.
-The Central government is calling global tenders for the first 10,000 electric cars, of which a pilot phase of 500 cars has already been awarded to Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra & Mahindra.
-Among the states, the Karnataka government has taken the lead in formulating India’s first comprehensive EV policy, supporting a complete ecosystem from manufacturing to deployment of charging stations.
Reason For EV not popular in India-It is owing to range anxiety, high capital cost and long charging time, despite the obvious benefits of very low running costs and zero emission.
Government plan for Public Transpport- India still relies heavily on public transport.
The government plans to make public transport more economical and environment-friendly by promoting electric buses.
However, the current generation of electric buses with traditional battery technology are prohibitively expensive at four to five times the cost of a diesel bus.
How to Counter Challenges related to EVs- 1.Battery swapping is the way forward to make EVs affordable and accessible to all.
2.To help bring down the capital cost of electric buses, experts are recommending two things among the various solutions being looked at—reducing the battery size and adopting “swappable” battery technology, thereby bringing down the upfront capital cost while reducing the operational cost and charging time.
3.The Indian auto industry is actively working in this direction as it helps state public transport agencies to induct electric bus fleets without incurring too much additional expenditure.
Benefit of EVs- 1.The popularity of shared mobility services like Ola and Uber shows that people living in congested urban centres are not keen on using their own vehicles to commute.
2.Electric cars with swappable batteries make a compelling business case for shared mobility operators, both for upfront capital cost and operational expenses.
3.In fact, the economies of EVs are such that there is a better return for high-mileage use, making them better suited for shared mobility services.
The government’s agenda also focuses on developing an ecosystem to support the EV industry, which will enable various stakeholders to stay connected, enabling a high-functioning, EV-driven public transport system.
Way Forward- 1.The auto industry has been growing at a steady pace and India is now becoming an export hub for small and medium-sized cars. This leaves the auto industry well-placed to go all out on electric, especially with policies that enable an entrepreneurial environment and promote a level playing field.
2. This is an opportune time for the auto industry to embrace the government’s EV push and collaborate with technology and mobility solution providers to capitalize on this opportunity.
3.It will hugely benefit the nation, economically and environmentally, if the auto industry moves quickly to adapt to this inevitable disruption and reap the rewards.