The fact that the future will bring significant changes to the automotive business – products, processes or the way businesses are conducted – and how we commute, is fairly clear. The transformations that we’ve started to witness in the global mobility industry will see some clear winners, while many others might just fall out of the way. Many of the future winners may not be conventional players in the automotive domain, as technology companies and innovative start-ups continue to disrupt the mobility sector.
For three days at the end of February, the automotive and mobility industry gathered at the Future Mobility Show (FMS) organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Bengaluru, with the objective to prepare an EV roadmap for a shared and connected future that is clean and efficient. A clear roadmap is indeed the need of the hour. In this context, the approval of the FAME II scheme – with an outlay of Rs 10,000 cr for a period of three years starting from April 1, 2019 – is a welcome move.
The emphasis on electrification of public transport that includes shared transport, and the proposal to support setting-up of 2,700 charging stations across metros, other million-plus cities, smart cities and cities of hilly states across India, should help the entire mobility sector get out of the quagmire it finds itself in today. If not entirely, this should help create the necessary ecosystem for e-mobility to take-off in the country.
E-mobility, nonetheless, is only one facet of future mobility. The world looks at the megatrends of connected, autonomous and shared as the other key determinants of how people and goods will be moved in times to come. In India though, affordability, safety and eco-friendly should be seen in the same context as with shared and connected mobility, said CV Raman, Sr Executive Director (Engineering), Maruti Suzuki India at the FMS 2019.
About 68 % of the world population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050, and India is expected to add the largest number of urban dwellers by that period. A United Nations estimate last year projected Delhi to become the most populous city in the world around 2028. The choices, clearly, are getting limited. Densely populated megacities will set limits on car ownership, and in the process, give rise to disruptions that will define mobility solutions of the future.
DEEPANGSHU DEV SARMAH
New Delhi, March 2019