Who Will Lead The EV Charge In India?
<p>The biggest question on every automakers and their consumers’ minds is when will battery power make internal combustion engined-cars obsolete. At least in the Indian context. The concept of electric vehicle – although not a new one – is still for most something that will happen in the future or to a select few. But the current acceptance of electric power amongst 2-wheelers is reasonably a healthy one. Rough estimates suggest that the current volume of electric two wheelers top at just over 500,000 units while the four-wheeler count is still in thousands. Which means that it is hardly 1% of total industry volume. </p><p>The Government of India however has been pushing this agenda with formation of many policies. They aren’t revolutionary yet because to be honest, we currently don’t have the infrastructure or the technology to convert ICE to electric enmasse however they are taking baby steps towards it by changes more directed towards where there are better chances of results. </p><p>In India two-wheelers have largely led the charge for EVs in India so far aided by a push from unexpected corners. For many years now, small-time regional importers of electric kits from South-East Asia and China have been selling their wares to local audiences, which has made a significant contribution to the numbers mentioned above. Today, many bigger players have joined the race. With the latter, the pace and awareness are rising and more consumers are lining up for EV two-wheelers, mostly scooters. If you notice, most “big” names in the EV two-wheeler space aren’t the usual suspects of the Indian two-wheeler market. Yes, they have joined the ranks too but given their core business are most likely distracted in their push unlike the pure EV makers. </p><p>The recent revisions in FAME (Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric vehicles) II policy meant substantially more subsidies to the two- and three-wheeler makers. Roughly, it brough down prices for many of them between 30-40% which is massive given the high costs. Interestingly, buses and cars have been left out of this benefit. For now. With very models to choose and mostly aimed for the affluent, possibly the policy makers don’t see much benefit for the cause beyond making the vehicles cheaper for a very small number of consumers. </p><p>Cars with their inherent needs for a substantial range are still a challenge for battery and auto makers and expect the change to happen at a slower pace in the next few years. So, it will be safe to say that the humble scooter and also the rickshaw (for commercial consumers) will be leading India’s clean energy charge… for now. </p>
KR Expert - Girish Karkera
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