E-mobility in India- Here are five strategic initiatives Indian government can take
India is currently experiencing a mobility revolution as the country grapples with rising vehicular pollution and the need to shift towards sustainable transportation. The Center for Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW) estimates that air pollution caused by transportation contributes to approximately 27% of PM 2.5 pollution in Indian cities. This highlights the urgent need to promote clean transportation solutions such as electric mobility.
In response to this need, the Indian government has set ambitious targets for electric vehicle (EV) adoption. According to data from NITI Aayog, India aims to have 30% of all vehicles on the road running on electricity by 2030. However, the high capital cost of EVs remains a major obstacle to widespread adoption. To make EVs more viable, the government has introduced several subsidies and incentives to reduce their upfront cost.
The government has also taken steps to address the infrastructure constraints associated with EVs. Charging facilities are critical to the widespread adoption of EVs, and the government has launched several initiatives to promote the development of charging infrastructure across the country. Additionally, battery swap systems are being explored as a potential solution to address the range anxiety that often plagues EV drivers.
While most of the focus has been on passenger vehicles, electric mobility is making inroads in other sectors as well. For example, electric fork lifts are being used in warehouses and logistics facilities to reduce emissions and improve operational efficiency. Mining trucks are also being electrified, with companies such as Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland developing electric mining trucks for the sector.
Two-wheeler applications are another area where electric mobility is gaining traction. Electric two-wheelers are particularly well-suited to India’s urban areas, where they can navigate through congested streets and reduce emissions. In fact, electric two-wheelers are already outselling their petrol-powered counterparts in some Indian cities.
Despite the progress being made, there are still several challenges that need to be addressed. The high capital cost of EVs remains a major barrier, and more incentives may be needed to make EVs accessible to a wider range of consumers. Additionally, the development of charging infrastructure needs to be accelerated to support the growing number of EVs on the road. Finally, there is a need to address concerns around the environmental impact of battery production and disposal.
India, being the fourth-largest car market globally, has a crucial role to play in this transformation. The Indian government has already taken significant steps towards promoting electric mobility, but more strategic measures are required to accelerate the adoption of e-mobility in the country. Here are five strategic steps that the Indian government can take to promote e-mobility:
- Promote Domestic Manufacturing: To ensure the affordability and availability of electric vehicles, India needs to focus on local manufacturing. The government should provide incentives to manufacturers to set up EV manufacturing plants in the country. It should also encourage the production of lithium-ion batteries in India by providing subsidies and infrastructure support.
- Develop Charging Infrastructure: One of the biggest challenges in the widespread adoption of EVs is the lack of charging infrastructure. The government should invest in developing a robust and widespread charging infrastructure network throughout the country. The development of public charging stations and fast-charging stations in cities, highways, and rural areas will help alleviate range anxiety and encourage more people to buy EVs.
- Encourage Public Transport and Shared Mobility: Promoting public transport and shared mobility is another way to reduce vehicular emissions. The government should incentivize the development of e-buses, e-taxis, and e-rickshaws. It should also promote ride-sharing services and car-pooling to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
- Introduce Fiscal and Non-Fiscal Incentives: The government should introduce fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to encourage people to buy electric vehicles. Some of the incentives could be tax breaks, subsidies, lower registration fees, and priority parking. The government could also promote electric vehicle leasing and offer low-interest loans for EV purchases.
- Create Awareness and Training Programs: The government should create awareness programs to educate people about the benefits of electric mobility. It should also provide training programs to mechanics and engineers on the maintenance and repair of electric vehicles. This will not only create more job opportunities but also help build a skilled workforce for the EV industry.
The Indian government needs to take a more holistic approach towards promoting e-mobility in the country. By focusing on domestic manufacturing, developing charging infrastructure, promoting public transport and shared mobility, introducing fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, and creating awareness and training programs, India can accelerate the adoption of electric mobility and contribute towards a cleaner and sustainable future.