CV Raman said it is observed globally that subsides don't make a sustainable ecosystem for electric vehicles
The electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem in the country is still in its nascent stage, and the government's FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles) II Scheme announced earlier this year, is aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles across the length and breadth of the country. Of course, the FAME II Scheme is a step in the right direction, but there is no denying the fact that it will take at least a year or so, maybe more for the country's electric vehicle ecosytem to turn into a well-oiled one.
CV Raman, Senior Executive Director (Engineering), Maruti Suzuki, said electric vehicles can help the country to prune it inflating import bill (crude oil constitutes 20 % of the country's total's imports) as well as facilitate an environmentally-friendly mobility ecosystem. Stating that alternate fuels are the way forward, he said electric vehicles cannot be the only alternate fuel solution and there must be a robust push to explore other alternate fuels such as CNG, ethanol, methanol, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
Of course, one can't lose sight of the fact that localising the electric vehicles technology is imperative for the country's electric vehicles ecosystem to flourish, as it will help bring down the cost of EVs, thus giving a push to the Make-in-India initiative. "Battery electric vehicles are two-three times costlier than ICE vehicles and the need of the hour is to carry out localisation at a rapid pace if we are to create consumer pull," he pointed out.
The lack of adequate charging electric vehicle infrastructure is a big impediment in the country and the industry stakeholders need to figure a feasible solution. "There is a great deal of anxiety among consumers about range of electric vehicles. It is crucial that quick access to electric vehicle charging stations as well as affordable electric vehicles charging are facilitated so as to trigger faster adoption of electric vehicles. China has 275,000, Japan has 29,900 charging stations, USA 54,500 publicly accessible electric vehicle charging outlets, while India has only 350 electric vehicle charging stations," he noted.
The cost parametres Raman feels, are so key in ensuring rapid adoption of electric vehicles in the country. "The cost structure of the electric vehicles technology must come closer to a ICE vehicle, which means a significant amount of localisation must be carried out in the country. Globally it is observed that subsides don't make a sustainable ecosystem for electric vehicle technologies," he signed off.