India will Introduce 1,00,000 battery operated auto-rickshaws and buses on the streets in the upcoming weeks. The step seems to be a first effort in the direction of making all car sales of electric-kind by 2030.
India would be sure to rank in the first five most polluted countries. Transportation is one of the major reasons that contribute to pollution and a reason that leads to around 1.2 million deaths each year in the nation.
Eliminating diesel and petrol out of the picture would lead to improvement in the country’s health and also help it achieve the stern climate change targets it vowed to in 2015 Paris summit.
Countries other than India also have the objective of doing away with fossil fuel vehicles. Britain and France, both have committed to end the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040.
India’s target of 2030 is being judged to be a little “daunting” by analysts. “To go all-electric is a daunting task,” said PwC partner Abdul Majeed. The 2030 target period seems to be a little less time to get such a huge transformation on roads, especially in a county like India where the question regarding the infrastructure that is required for Electric and hybrid vehicles is still not addressed.
“Electric vehicles have a few huge challenges to deal with before they can take off in a big way.” Said Majeed.
The number of clean fuel vehicles is just 3% of all vehicles worldwide. The share would slip even more in India.
Another glitch in the electric dream is that Government does not plan to invest in building a network of charging stations for all the future electric and hybrid vehicles. So how would electric car drivers charge their depleted batteries? The Government wants private energy companies to create “swapping bay” where drivers would hand over their empty, used up batteries and in exchange, be given fresh, charged batteries. In this scheme, the task of charging and managing the battery would not be on the car owner.
Ashok Jhunjhunwala, principal advisor to the power minister and the official spearheading the efforts gave the information that Government would lease batteries to public transportation and taxi fleets. “The idea is to keep it as low-cost as possible,” Jhunjhunwala said. “Vehicles and chargers must happen without subsidies and must make business sense.”
Chief executive at Mahindra, Mahesh Babu remarked the project to be excellent but showed his concern by saying that “the effiecny targets of the government are idealistic and might lead to compromise on consumer needs and safety.”
There are also a few that are optimistic about the electric future. Bill Hare, chief executive of the Berlin-based Climate Analytics consultancy said that reducing the size and cost of electric vehicles with the support of quick technological progress could make the ambition practical and workable.
The processes of introducing all electric and hybrid cars by 2030 would have had a helping hand if foreign car makers, who have already made considerable progress in the clean vehicles area, would be positive to launch their products in India.
Mercedes wants a “reasonable timeline” and better incentives for car owners and only then would it launch their electric solution in the country.
Tesla which launched, a comman-man version of its expensive cars, model 3 has put on hold it’s introduction in the Indian market.
Nissan Motors is experimenting with its Leaf model to fit the weather and pollution situations in India.
With no foreign carmaker offering competition in the electric market, the homegrown Mahindra sorely, occupies the electric car space in India. It offers its electric sedan, hatchback, van products, after deducting a subsidy of $2,300, in the $11,000 to $15,000 range.
The carmaker aims to sell a maximum of 5,000 units this year. On the lines of car akers in the West, it has also formed ties with start-ups, logistic companies that provide an autonomous vehicle sharing system.
We want to meet India’s challenges,” Babu said