India’s automotive industry is totally different as it has lower passenger vehicle density as compared to countries like USA, UK, Germany and China. India has 22 cars per 1,000 individuals, whereas USA and UK have 980 and 850 vehicles per 1,000 individuals. Even Germany and China have 570 and 145 vehicles per 1,000 individuals.
There has been a great deal of talk about appropriate charging standards for the Indian electric vehicle (EV) market. A lot of discussion is triggered about the importance of standardisation of EV charging for the Indian market. Anil Srivastava, Principal Consultant & Mission Director, National Mission on Transformative Mobility & Battery Storage, NITI Aayog, said standardisation of charging standards is critical but all care must be taken to ensure it is achieved in the right manner. “Standardisation of charging standards is important, but it must at the same time ensure that opting for such an exercise does not stifle the growth of the auto industry or the economy. That’s not all, standardisation of charging standards must be cost-effective – it’s about offering the best technology in a cheapest manner possible," said Srivastava.
The senior NITI Aayog official dwelt at length on how range anxiety can impact the electric vehicle-buying decision of a vehicle user. “It is imperative that this aspect is not overlooked. Two-wheelers or three-wheelers won’t have to grapple with range anxiety issues in India. Even intra-city buses won’t encounter range anxiety concerns as this can be made available at bus depots. It is the passenger vehicles and long haul buses that will have apprehensions over range anxiety."
It is important to understand that India’s automotive industry is totally different as it has lower passenger vehicle density as compared to countries like USA, UK, Germany and China. “India has 22 cars per 1,000 individuals, whereas USA and UK have 980 and 850 vehicles per 1,000 individuals. Even Germany and China have 570 and 145 vehicles per 1,000 individuals. The way we drive the electric vehicle journey has to be relevant for our market.”
It is well known that electric vehicles have shot into prominence over the year in China as well as in Scandinavian nations like Norway among others. EVs are subsidised in a big way so as to pave the way for rapid adoption of the same – something Srivastava feels would be a thing of the past. “Scandinavian nations like Norway have already stopped doling out subsidies and China is poised to halt subsidies by 2020 simply because the total cost of ownership (TCO) has come down significantly in recent times. If you compare an ICE vehicle with an EV without the source of energy, you can use it for three years and only then the replacement cost comes into play.”
Srivastava stated that much needs to be done if the country has to electrify 30 to 40 % of passenger vehicles by 2030. “There is a strong need on how to move forward in terms of having charging standards in India. There will be a need for one million chargers if it has to electrify 30 to 40 % of passenger vehicles by 2030, if we assume one charger for seven vehicles, which is a global standard.