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Does Electric Vehicles future remains bleak in India ?

With consistent rise in pollution level in India and lack of implementation of Electric Vehicle (From now on EV) policy. India is facing lot of challenges in EV segment. According to Economic Times "Seven most polluted cities in the world were in India out of 10."

 

 

 According to THE ECONOMIC TIMES "Since last three years national capital records poor air quality."

 


According to Republic World ."How long Delhi artificial lung took to turn from white to black under prevailing air pollution."

 

These data are shown not to create fear in your mind but to make alert and understand the present scenario of pollution in India. So that you can take right step to curb pollution using different measures which are discussed later. Rise in pollution has direct effect on health especially to person suffering from respiratory diseases. According to Business Standard 1.2mn Indians were killed in 2017 and is the third biggest cause of death.

 

According to India today "1 Lakh children under 5 years of age die from air pollution in India every year.

 

Exposure to particulate matter for a long time can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, lung cancer and heart attack.

With such adverse impact on health and rise in pollution it has become necessity to look for alternate source. To control pollution and its adverse effects on health Government of India has taken several initiatives. Automobile which is considered to be biggest source of pollution due to tailpipe emissions of harmful gases such as HC, CO and NOx. Several initiatives has been taken to control the same. Like introduction of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and EV scheme in 2015 which provided subsidies electric 2-3 wheelers, hybrid e-cars and buses. Many questions have been rising since government changed its intentions of going 100% electric by 2020 to 30% electric by 2020. Sudden decrease by 70% electric vehicles reduction and announcement of making global hub of manufacturing of electric vehicles Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech.

Now the question arises will India will be able to switch to 30% electric by 2030 or will be able to become global hub of manufacturing of electric vehicles? According to Express drives  Nitin Gadkari announced that India does not need an EV policy. Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog was quoted saying, “What we need is just action plans” backing Nitin Gadkari’s comment of “there is no need for any policy now,” leaving automakers in a fix once again.

Now the question arises if there is no need of EV policy now and is the need of action plans according to Nitin Gadkari so when the action plans will be implemented. In addition if the action plans is implemented how much time it will take to frame a policy and implement it. Because without policy it will be not possible to turn into electric mobility.

There are many limitations in FAME schemes as described by the company which has impact on selling of electric vehicles. According to LexQuest.

 

Fame 1 scheme was implemented in 2015 and Fame 2 in 2018. Since there are many limitations to be seen in these schemes after 3 years of its implementation. Then the question arises how government according to new proposal is to have only electric three-wheelers operating in the country by 2023, and only electric two-wheelers by 2025 without implementation of proper policy?

According to BBC news “In the financial year that ended in March 2019, about 3.4 million passenger cars were sold in the country against 21.2 million two-wheelers, according to data released by Indian automobile manufacturers. The number of three-wheelers sold totaled 0.7 million."

At this production rate will it be possible to achieve target of only electric three-wheelers operating in the country by 2023, and only electric two-wheelers by 2025. According to SMEV website there are 27 members of two wheeler manufactures, 15 members of 3 wheelers and 4 members of 4 wheelers. Are they enough to meet the required demand of 2/3/4 wheelers?

EV Components

Most of the parts of components of electric vehicles are imported from China. According to ET Auto "India short on EV parts Makers, To rely on Chinese Imports.

In the financial year 2018 alone, Chinese exports to India touched $4.3 billion, up 27% over FY13, with the automobile industry executives saying that there’s no sign of slowing down in the future. India imports ten times more auto components from China than it exports. Drive transmission, steering followed by electricals, interiors and engine components from China form a major chunk of the imports. The imports from China are mainly for EV components as we do not have a well-established EV partsmaking ecosystem in India. Due to lack of quality and high rejection rate of 20% in India to 3% of in China it has become necessity to increase dependency on China.

With quality standards on the cards for aftermarket products and the government mandating local content for EVs in the recently announced FAME-II policy for e-mobility, imports from China are expected to drop in the coming years. How India will be able to create EV parts making ecosystem in India with reduce dependency on China as mentioned in FAME-II policy? If it had resource and capability of manufacturing EV components in India then why it increases dependency on China?

With consistent India and China border tensions due to LAC and India banning 59 chinese apps. It has become difficult to do business as it was done before. The only option that is left is to start our own manufacturing ecosystem which will be able to cater the needs of existing EVs in India.

According to The Guardian"Indians call for boycott of Chinese goods after fatal border clashes."

In the upcoming future we will be able to see some local units manufacturing EV components to cater the need of EVs in India.

Vehicle Scraping

Everyone will be having one question in their mind that what will happen to our existing vehicles running on road, Will they will be bulldozed from the roads? As Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said at the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers’ convention in New Delhi. “I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you, I will bulldoze it.” Later Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made it clear that the government will continue to encourage electric vehicles, but without banning conventional internal combustion engine (ICE)-fitted automobiles. If the petrol and diesel powered vehicles are allowed to run then it will create big chaos on roads as the current situation is too worse. Day by day traffic is increasing specially in metro cities where the industries are in larger scales. India is facing lot of challenges on many fronts of e-vehicles whether it is related to manufacturing of components or developing infrastructure for e-vehicles such as building charging stations. Whether it is penetration of electric vehicles in market or framing policies. Whether it is scrapping of older vehicles or doing research on electric vehicles. Because without implementation of policy or proper framework it will be not possible to complete any of these work in phased manner. Now, we are going to start the new scrapping policy, by which old cars, trucks and buses will be scrapped," the Minister of MSME and Road Transport and Highways said. And he also said that we are ready with the policy and will be implemented soon.

Then the question arises who will bear the cost of compensation and which which Vehicles will be eligible for it? How it will be implemented and how electric vehicle will be available for everyone? Will it will be available for everyone? So there are many questions arises in one mind.

There are many questions left unanswered and we are still looking for answers. Because as per the current scenario in EV industry, future does not look green because there are many things to be done yet. Right from implementing policies to building infrastructure. It will take approx one to two years implementing various policies and checking whether it is implemented in a right way or not. Around 21 million petrol powered two wheelers were sold as compared to 51,000 units of electric 2 wheelers last year. Now the question is how electric two wheeler will be available to millions of users when it is sold in thousands by 2025?

Looking at the positive side there are many examples set by different countries such as China, Taiwan, Norway, US, Japan and many other countries where large number of electric vehicles are used. In 1998 Beijing capital city of China was one of the most polluted cities in world and it took 15 years to control the pollution and bring down the number from most polluted to least polluted cities in world.

It is also important for India to become self-reliant especially in EV industry and manufacture parts locally instead of depending on foreign companies. It will strengthen Make in India initiative taken by Government of India and create more jobs in India and ultimately the economy will grew. Government should also focus on starting skill development programs which give skills on various sector of electric vehicles.

At the end I would like to request readers to understand the seriousness of this article and ask questions arising in your mind to government using any platforms. If you want to see future of yours and next generation bright and green then you should have answers of all these questions very soon, otherwise it will be too late. There are many others topics too to discuss but this is the most important topics to discuss right now. Who knows one day government will bulldoze everyone vehicles overnight such as demonetization was done overnight. Than it will be too late to ask questions because then everyone will be busy criticize the government decision.

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