Why Should India Bet Big On EVs?

Why Should India Bet Big On EVs?

February 2020 Guest Commentary Zoomcar EV
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GREG MORAN is CEO and Co-Founder at Zoomcar

The age of sustainable mobility has arrived, with EVs seeing increased adoption across the country

As Elon Musk unveiled the all-new Tesla Cybertruck in November last year, people across the globe jumped on the discussion bandwagon over its ultramodern design and tech features it came enabled with. Well, when you see an auto-driving ‘electric’ pickup truck that could zoom from 0 to 60 m/h in as little as 2.9 s, who wouldn’t?

Welcome to the new age of sustainable mobility! Electric Vehicles (EVs) can be spotted over Indian roads as various players like Tata Motors, Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra & Mahindra, and MG Motor India keep rolling them out in the market. In 2020, Tesla will also join the race. We have interesting times ahead of us. It is time India bets big on the burgeoning EV market. Let’s try and find out why.

SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY AND WHY INDIA MUST BET BIG ON IT?

India is already making considerable advances in the field of sustainable energy. With 80,467 MW of renewable power already installed, it is soon going to more than double the figure by taking it to 175,000 MW of renewable energy. The country has also incentivised the setting up of around 1,000 charging stations that will have at least 6,000 chargers. The government has also earmarked a sum of ` 10,000 cr under the FAME II initiative. NITI Aayog has further proposed that only EVs should be sold in India by 2030. The government has already decided to up the ante by preponing the launch of BS VI emission standards for all Indian vehicles sold from April 1, 2020. All of these developments target the burgeoning demand towards the country’s need for sustainable mobility.

The Delhi smog scenario is adequate enough to ask ourselves – are we moving towards a sustainable future? The need of the hour is sustainable mobility. At present, there are about 27 cars per 1,000 Indians living in the country. However, the same figure for Germany is 570 vehicles. India has surely made rapid advances, but in terms of EV adoption, it still falls way short of expectations. If making our roads pollution-free by 2030 is our true objective, we must ensure the awareness about greener vehicles improves. There are around 15 cr drivers across the country and out of them, only 8,000 people want to own an electric car, according to a report released by Bloomberg.

The government is targeting to decrease its oil imports by 10 %. However, the nation’s oil imports increased by 84 % in 2018-19 as India forked out $ 111.9 bn on the same. To give you a picture, this figure stood at $ 87.8 bn in 2016-17 and $ 64 bn back in 2015-16. As the country’s socio-economic situation improves and there is higher automobile adoption, our oil dependency is only going to hurt the economy. It can only be decreased by taking prudent measures and increasing awareness about electric vehicles.

Thankfully, different players are making the right moves in the Indian market. For instance, India got its first all-electric heavy-duty truck with a freight capacity of 60 tonne recently. The truck is developed by Infraprime Logistics Technology, an Indian e-mobility start-up. Similarly, automotive players are augmenting their pipeline of EVs that are going to be soon launched within the country.

EV COMMITMENT

There is a growing consumer preference for EVs, when booking rental cars, especially in the metropolitan regions. For instance, Zoomcar currently has around 500 EVs and aims to increase it to 1,000 EVs over the next one year, and to 10,000 EVs by 2021. The company is thrilled to be at the forefront of offering innovative, greener mobility solutions to the consumers and our recent milestone of covering over one crore km in the last quarter is a testament to our endeavour in promoting a cleaner environment. At Zoomcar, we have always empowered our customers with better mobility alternatives and will continue doing so at scale with new announcements on several additional EV offerings in the coming months.

Surely, the popularity of EVs is increasing within the country, but how is it going to really affect India as a market? The headwinds, in terms of demand, are already being faced by the automobile sector of India. So, as the nation advances towards BS VI emission standards, the market players must make EV a core component of their future strategy, especially in order to capitalise on the globally burgeoning market. According to Frost & Sullivan’s Global Electric Vehicle Market Outlook report, around 2.8 mn EVs have been forecasted to be sold in 2019. This is against the 2.1 mn EVs (approximately) sold last year, out of which, China alone sold 1.1 mn EVs. According to another report by MarketsandMarkets, the global EV market is expected to grow from an estimated 3 mn units to reach 27 million units by 2030 – registering a robust CAGR of 21.1 %.

CONCLUSION

Exciting times are ahead of us. We are clearly transitioning into a new future with technology and advancements surprising us every passing day. Tomorrow will be a more sustainable and worthwhile time to live in. We just need to undertake concerted efforts to make our future that way. Perhaps, it’s time for India to go big on the EV front and have an Elon Musk of our own!