A major part of air pollution is caused due to emission from cars run by petrol and diesel. Switching to electric vehicles can be the one step solution not only to stop pollution but also to make the utmost use of renewable energy. Electric vehicles are capable of turning almost 75% of the input energy into kinetic energy whereas gas vehicles can do it by only 25%. Moreover, production of EVs in large numbers aims at attaining zero carbon emission especially in the urban areas.
India stands in a remarkable position in the EV market having the world’s largest EV two-wheeler market. Most of the big automakers have put more stress on producing EVs than other vehicles and this has led to the entry of a significant number of electricity run vehicles in the auto market. Though the percentage of two-wheeler EVs is just 1% of the total market, it is expected to reach 15% by 2025. Paying more attention to electric vehicles is one of the initiatives towards the goal of attaining zero emission by 2070. In a recent parliament session, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, has said, “Between 2019-20 and 2020-21, the two-wheeler EVs on road has risen by 422% and three-wheelers by 75%.”
While the global EV market is growing at a CAGR rate of 43%, the Indian market is lagging behind if compared with the US and China. A total of 7.2 million EVs were sold worldwide in the year 2019 in which China holds the highest market position with 47% of the total sales. India’s selling unit stands at 1,70,000 which is an absolute mere number. Though the automobile industrialists as well as the Indian government have high interest in electric vehicles, there are a number of hurdles. One of the major challenges is the high cost associated with the production process and arranging adequate manufacturing infrastructure. Another drawback, particularly in India, is the absence of charging stations without which it is useless to adapt to electric vehicles. If compared, the number of gasoline stations is much higher than charging stations in India. This automatically creates a risk factor for EV users. India also lacks in technology and raw materials required for manufacturing semiconductors. It depends highly on China for the lithium supply used for making chips.
The positive outcome of switching to electric vehicles is not only confined to environmental welfare. It can reduce the import cost and bills related to oil. Moreover, the country can also be independent with its energy requirements. Therefore, the government is taking steps to boost this industry to a greater extent. Subsidies are being provided from the government’s end for buying electric vehicles. For people taking car loans, a relief of `1.5 lakh is being announced by the central government. Even the GST to be paid is set at a minimal rate of 5% only. The oil companies have also come forward to encourage these vehicles by planning to set up nearly 22,000 charging stations throughout the country. A change has been initiated and if a proper collaboration of government initiatives as well as investment happens, the automobile industry will be a lot greener in near future.