Electric vehicle industry in India
The Electric Vehicle Industry in India is a growing industry. The central and state governments have launched schemes and incentives to promote electric mobility in the country and some regulations and standards are also in place. While the country stands to benefit in a large way by switching its transport from IC engines to electric motor-powered, there are challenges like lack of charging infrastructure, high initial cost and lack of electricity produced from renewable energy. Still, e-commerce companies, car manufacturers, app-based transportation network companies and mobility solution providers have entered the sector and are slowly building up electric car capacity and visibility.
Benefits of electric vehicles
- Electric vehicles are around 3-5 times more efficient than internal combustion vehicles in utilising energy. Even if electric vehicles run on electricity produced from fossil fuels, the overall efficiency of electric vehicles is still higher and the pollution is less, because large thermal power plants are much more efficient than IC engines, and it is easier to control emissions from power plants than vehicle engines.
- Electric vehicles save energy by regenerative braking. Around 30%-70% of the energy used for propulsion can be recovered, with higher percentages applicable to stop-and-go city driving.
- Air quality indices related to India. indicate that the air in many cities of India is no longer healthy. Automobile related pollution has been one of the causes for this.
- Aspects related to global warming needs a shift to automobile solutions that reduce / do not produce greenhouse gas emissions. If electric vehicles run on electricity produced from non-polluting sources of energy like hydro, solar, wind, tidal and nuclear, they reduce emissions due to vehicles almost to zero.
- The need to reduce dependency on a fossil-fuel based economy. India’s crude oil imports for 2014-15 was 112 billion dollars (approximately 7,00,000 crore rupees). For comparison, the allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, in budget 2017-18, is 48,000 crore rupees.
- India can become a global provider for clean mobility solutions and processes that are affordable and scalable.
- People living in some Indian cities are being affected by noise pollution. Some of the Indian cities have the worst noise pollution levels in the world. Electric vehicles are much quieter and may contribute to a reduction in noise pollution levels in the cities.
- Energy efficiency and emission reduction has improved in automobiles. Yet, the growth in total number of vehicles on road, and the resulting total pollution and total energy consumption removed all gains made by betterment in energy efficiency and emission reduction by automobiles. Energy efficiency measures and pollution control measures did not keep pace with the sales growth in vehicles. The total number of vehicles registered in India has been 5.4 million, 11 million, 33 million, 40 million and 210 million in the years 1981, 1986, 1996, 2000 and 2015. This indicates 39 times percentage growth in the total number of vehicles between 1981 and 2015. The total number of vehicles sold in India increased between 1,54,81,381 in 2010-11 and 2,04,69,385 in 2015-1 indicating a 30+ percentage growth in this five year period.
- Through smart charging, electric vehicles can help to balance the balance-supply variations in the electricity grid, and provide a buffer against electricity supply failures.
- Electric vehicles have much fewer moving parts as compared to vehicles with IC engines. Thus, being simpler, they are cheaper and easier to maintain.
- Electric motors can deliver high torque at low speeds. As a result, electric vehicles deliver much better performance while starting off and on slopes than IC engine-powered vehicles.