As the world approaches peak oil and starts witnessing the consequences of climate change, electric vehicles have emerged as an alternative to bring about a transportation transformation.
Against this backdrop, the global EV market recorded an impressive 54% year-on-year growth in 2017. Particularly in India, the EV market is gaining momentum due to the ambitious plans and initiatives of the government. However, the country needs a coordinated effort by different sectors to realize its ambitious goal, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.
EV deployment is mostly driven by policy. GlobalData observed that public authorities in India have made a number of EV-related policy announcements over the past few years showing strong commitment, concrete action and significant ambition for their deployment in the country.
In 2012, the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 was established to promote hybrid and electric vehicles. Under the plan, an incentive scheme—Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles —was launched in 2015 to reduce the upfront purchase price and stimulate their early adoption.
In early 2018, the Ministry of Power launched the National Electric Mobility Programme to focus on creating charging infrastructure and a policy framework to set a target of more than 30% electric vehicles by 2030.
Prabhanjan Singh, Power Analyst at GlobalData, says: "Until now, charging infrastructure was deemed as electricity distribution, which is a licensed activity. This license requirement stalled the market access of small-scale players. In early 2018, an interim arrangement was set up to enable charging stations to operate without a license. The power ministry categorized charging batteries of electric vehicles as a service, allowing charging stations to operate without a license to encourage the use of EVs."
Currently, the government's EV fleet consists of the Mahindra e-Verito and the Tata Tigor EV. Various other automakers, including Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki, have started working extensively toward electrifying or introducing EVs in their portfolio.
Meanwhile, many companies such as Tata Power, Finnish state-owned company Fortum and cab aggregator Ola have started setting up charging stations in their captive facilities or in public places. Solar power developer ACME Group provided Ola with EcoCharge battery swapping and charging stations.
India is also a member of the Electric Vehicles Initiative multi-governmental policy forum. The EVI forum was established in 2009 to accelerate the deployment of EVs worldwide and facilitate exchanges between policymakers and various stakeholders.
Singh concludes: "Despite the ambitious plans and initiatives of the government, there is a lack of consistency among visions and achievements. India sold only 22,000 battery electric vehicles in 2016, well short of the sales growth needed to meet the 6-7 million hybrid and electric vehicle sales target by 2020 in the NEMMP 2020. India needs to ensure greater coordination in the deployment of EVs as it moves forward."