Around the world, countries are rapidly adopting electric vehicle-related technologies and gradually phasing out fossil fuel-based vehicles as a part of their concerted plan to combat climate change and rising pollution in cities. While the benefits of electric vehicles are obvious, their adoption rate is minimal in India. To push the e-Mobility initiative, the Government needs to provide adequate incentives for adoption of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles have to be an integral part of an environmentally sustainable future for us, and the sooner we realize this, the faster will be our progress towards mobility of clean and green electricity in the country. India needs to find ways to implement electric mobility technology systems by creating a business environment in which equipment manufacturers are provided innovative fiscal incentives to make a concerted effort to produce electric vehicles. Once these elements are in place, the market can move to reduce the cost of electric vehicles by making the technology widely accessible, and thereby bring about a meaningful change in the country. Public electric vehicles are however only one part of a much broader approach that needs to be taken towards sustainable mobility. There is a need to associate electric vehicles with new patterns of use. Electric mobility a paradigm shift Sustainable mobility is not just about replacing fossil fuel-powered vehicles with modes of transportation propelled by electricity. With respect to sale of vehicles in the industry, the passenger car segment grew by 5.87%, the commercial vehicle segment by 35.68%, the three-wheeler segment by 31.97% and the two- wheeler segment by 11.14% in April October 2018 over the same period the previous year. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 was launched by the Central Government in 2013 to boost the manufacture of hybrid and electric vehicles in India and aims to achieve production of seven million electric vehicles by 2020.
With the Government deciding to fund up to 60% of R&D costs for the development of indigenous low-cost electric technology, global automobile players are investing heavily in R&D in electric vehicle technologies in India. A face lift is definitely anticipated for India’s electric vehicle industry with a major thrust from the Government. At the current rate, with the incremental changes introduced and the formulation of policies and standards on emissions, the inflection point is expected to be achieved by 2050, wherein 90% of vehicles will be electric and only 10% traditional. More than a technological breakthrough, electric vehicles need to be seen as a way for society to respond to the changes brought about by the other Megatrends. Utilization of vehicles The high initial cost of their batteries, coupled with the low running cost of electric vehicles, is a clear indication that only high-utilization vehicle categories will be viable, especially during the early stages of their adoption curve. Form factor innovation The use of the ‘electric drivetrain’ component, the need for on-board battery storage, optimization of vehicles’ weight and shape for maximum range and similar engineering considerations, coupled with new ways in which vehicles are likely to be used, are expected to lead to innovation in the design of future automobiles.