The Future Of Electric Vehicle In India

The day is nearing when owning an electric vehicle becomes a norm. The cause of the shift is to cut down on pollution and the use of fossil fuels in India. Governments across the world are pushing for clean energy vehicles as they release stricter emission standards, while private companies are investing billions into research and development. India can take this opportunity or lose it as other countries rise up with strong incentives for people to switch to electric cars.

Why Government Is Focusing On Electric Car?

If India wants to meet its 2030 sustainable energy target, then it must adapt its infrastructure and move towards a cleaner mobility system. The government needs to create supportive policies that boost adoption of electric vehicles, adequate charging facilities, and provide necessary economic incentives (ease rules on import duty). The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2018-2025 aims to completely eliminate petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

Private companies have already started taking advantage of the government’s policies by rolling out electric as well as hybrid cars. Tata Motors’ Bolt and New Delhi-based Reva Automobiles’ E-Verito both run on electric batteries, while Mahindra & Mahindra’s e2o has a hybrid petrol engine. There are also a host of other companies developing electric vehicles, such as  Mahindra & Mahindra, BMW, Hyundai and Renault.

The most important step will be to convince the Indian consumer that buying an electric vehicle is just like any other car. That will require strong government policy, a reduction in taxes and a lot of education. In China, the government has been using tax cuts to encourage consumers to buy electric cars (with some special incentives for people with small carbon footprints). The Indian government can do the same and other countries such as Germany have shown that it is possible.

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A lot will depend on how quickly the Indian market develops. On one hand, we are seeing relatively slow acceptance of these vehicles (as seen in the recent India sales data above). However, this may just reflect that the cars are still too expensive and have not reached a price point where they will get mass appeal. More affordable electric cars such as the Renault Zoe and Tesla model 3 may get a strong push if the government offers incentives. If India can export electric vehicles to other countries, it will have a double boost: one from the reduction in import duty and another from the popularity of these vehicles. From a business perspective, India must find ways to differentiate itself (or outdo other countries).

In conclusion, India must step up its game. The government must provide an easier access to electric vehicles while also suggesting tax cuts or perks that encourage consumers to buy them. There needs to be appropriate policy support from the federal government and it needs to get involved in setting standards for charging stations, which need to be made universal and easily accessible.

If India doesn’t get the ball rolling, then it will only delay the adoption of electric vehicles and be left behind as countries like China and Japan take the lead.

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