In September, India sold more electric cars than in any prior month. Since April, when the fiscal year began, sales have been increasing and are now approaching the prior year’s total. It’s a ray of optimism for an industry beset by a global shortage of semiconductor chips, which has coincided with a period of sluggish development.
But it’s simply a glimpse of hope. As per the Delhi-centered think tank Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), electric vehicle sales accounted for only 1.66 percent of India’s 20 million automobile sales this fiscal year. Some electric vehicle companies, particularly those that create two-wheelers, are investing heavily, while demand for cars and commercial automobiles like lorries remains lukewarm. With a $3.5 billion (£2.5 billion) initiative to stimulate manufacturing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is attempting to reverse that.
As pressure mounts on India, the globe’s third carbon emitter, to establish more aggressive climate objectives ahead of the COP26 conference in November, electric cars will also reduce emissions. Electric vehicles are also gaining popularity as global oil prices rise, pushing India’s fuel import bill to a whopping $24.7 billion. “It’s a mix of climate change and economics,” Gagan Sidhu, director of CEEW’s Centre for Energy Finance, explained.
On the other hand, is India prepared for what may be the greatest shake-up in the automotive industry since its inception more than a century earlier? “The only thing left is for us to create electric vehicles,” stated Varun Dubey, who is the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Ola Electric, which is a unit of eponymous ride-hailing applications.
The company recently announced opening a new $320 million scooter factory in India, with aspirations to produce 10 million electric 2-wheelers per year or around 15% of global production. “Nobody is discussing whether or not we should switch to cleaner air. How will we get there? Is the question, ” Mr. Dubey stated.
The Indian government is unquestionably eager to get there. In 2017, India’s Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari, stated that by the end of 2030, he wanted exclusively electric cars on Indian roads – an unrealistic goal that he has since altered. By 2030, the goal is for 30 percent of personal automobiles, 70 percent of commercial automobiles, 40 percent of buses, and 80 percent of two- and three-wheelers to be electric.
The good news is that 2- and 3-wheelers are already on their way to achieving that goal; according to CEEW, electric alternatives account for nearly 50% of sales in both segments this fiscal year. In addition, Hero Electric, India’s largest maker of battery-propelled scooters, has stated that gasoline-powered two-wheelers will be phased out by 2027. “The entire world revolves around two-wheelers. We won’t be able to switch to electric vehicles unless we also switch to two-wheelers, “Mr. Dubey explained.