Electric Vehicles in India: An insight in the key trends in E-Mobility sector in India

India represents an enormous opportunity for Electric Vehicles as they can help the country control the alarming levels of pollution indices which are already under danger zone in many cities including National capital of the country. They can also save a lot of fuel and the dollars India has to pay for annual crude oil imports. The Government of India is working hard to give a strong push to electric mobility over the last few years and has already announced Electric Mission 2030to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including vehicle manufacturers, charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators, service providers, etc. The Union Cabinet has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France that seeks to support the government’s ambitious plan for the deployment of electrical vehicles by maximizing solar mobility and minimizing its grid impact.

There are many key initiatives launched by the government to promote the adoption of EVs and other sustainable mobility solutions in the country. The union government has introduced many policy changes and other measures including extension of FAME 1 with increase in the subsidy fund to INR 795 Crores, allowing private charging at residences and offices, besides de-licensing setting up public charging stations and offering priority connections for setting up such stations, floating tenders (EESL, NTPC), releasing EV Charging standards for < 100 V vehicles.  Charging stations have been allowed to source electricity from any power generation company through open access. In addition, electric mobility charging stations will also be rolled out in cities with a population of greater than 4 million residents i.e. Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat and Pune. The Indian government has already recently announced additional benefits to electric car owners such as special green number plates. The Centre is also considering putting a green tax on all petrol and diesel cars for providing subsidies to electric vehicle buyers. The government is also working on a detailed and thorough EV policy and roadmap which is expected to be launched soon.

Various state governments in India have also made a number of electric vehicle-related policy announcements over the past few months showing strong commitment, concrete action, and significant ambition for the deployment of electric vehicles in the country.

2018 has been a historic year for EVs, Energy Storage, and Batteries. And there is a strong prediction that trend will continue in 2019 and beyond. The e-mobility sector will further evolve in the context of several larger trends, some specific to India, and some relevant globally.

Infrastructure development

The growth in the EV segment is contingent upon the infrastructure development. The government has re-categorized public EV charging from licensed activity to service delivery in order to attract more players to set up charging stations. Emergence of several players to build charging network stations, and collaboration of charging service providers with utilities and energy companies will drive rapid expansion of charging network.

Demand-side growth

Ride-sharing companies have announced ambitious plans to invest in electric mobility. Ola aims to have 10,000 EVs in 2019 as part of its Mission Electric. Lithium cabs, Bhagirathi are some successful examples and have developed an EV fleet of about 500 vehicles already and are active in enterprise transportation segment. In addition, EVs will play a key role in the last-mile delivery in congested urban areas, providing a fillip to the EV industry from logistics and booming e-commerce companies in India.

Launch of 2nd generation vehicles by OEMs

Year 2018 has seen EVs being increasingly used in fleet operations, govt. fleet, airports, corporate cabs which has given OEMs a view of the consumer preferences and challenges they can expect to face in Indian market. With this wealth of data, we expect to see upgraded versions of existing EVs in 2019. OEMs like Nissan-Renault, Hyundai and KIA are expected to launch their global models on Indian roads. These models will have range upwards of 200 kms and faster battery charging times enabling better utilization on fleet.

Range Anxiety to decrease as EV Chargers will be in more common place

We see the availability of public chargers to increase which will enable companies to do more runs and reduce anxiety. With the release of high voltage charging standards, we expect more cars with battery size > 30 kWh and faster charging times. This will lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the fleet owners.  With high voltage chargers, the speed of charging will also increase significantly.

Battery swapping as an alternate charging solution  

Battery swapping as a solution is likely to be experimented by fleet operators/aggregators in order to reduce charging down time and enable more daily runs increasing revenue earning opportunities for the stakeholders. Considering issues of size standardization, we expect the use to be captive initially and later extend on to a bigger scale.

| Article published on 04/02/2019 by Moulin

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