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Towards Electric mobility

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December 12, 2018

What is the issue?

Despite policy uncertainties, companies in the transportation sector are spending big on infra and R&D to be part of the ongoing electric revolution.

What is the roadmap?

  • Transportation sector accounts for over 10% of India’s carbon emissions.
  • Thus the government is keen to switch from polluting internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.
  • However, it can’t dramatically alter the auto-industry landscape from two-wheelers to passenger vehicles and trucks.
  • Automobiles gulp 30% of the petroleum from its refineries and since electric vehicles have fewer components than an internal combustion vehicle, the components sector could be devastated by a rapid switch-over to electric road power.
  • Hence, the government has made a target that EVs will make up 33% of vehicles on the road only by 2030.

What are the initiatives taken in this regard?

  • New ride-sharing or motorbike-taxi companies have sprung up in India in the last few years, which help to boost electric two-wheeler sales.
  • Companies are getting involved in customising the vehicles to be made “stronger” to take the strain of multiple users in case of ride-sharing.
  • Along with that, the companies need to be spent on a mix of R&D, manufacturing facilities, marketing and awareness-creation on electric vehicles.
  • Automobile companies, along with ride-sharing ones, decided to set up charging networks in the metro cities like Delhi and Bengaluru.
  • Some companies have aimed to build a plant and localise battery production with their own funds.
  • They have even worked out an app to enable bookings at charging stations and say which ones have the right type of charger.
  • All these initiatives are a welcoming move in the complete switch over to electronic vehicles in the country.

What should be the immediate focus?

  • The auto majors are pushing for the government to give more support to hybrid vehicles in the coming years.
  • A hybrid vehicle is one that uses more than one means of propulsion, wherein a petrol or diesel engine will be combined with an electric motor.
  • Auto industry experts argue that hybrids would obviate the need for an extensive network of charging stations.
  • It would also be a way of saving a large number of components firms that might be put out of business if EVs take over the roads totally.
  • Thus, the immediate future of EVs lies with two-wheelers and public transport, focussing especially on hybrid vehicles.
  • But as battery prices fall, there will be a transition from hybrid to electric vehicles, along with an increasing number of electric four-wheelers in the country.


Source: Business Line




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