Battery Electric Vehicles

Context: The Government’s emphasis on achieving net zero emissions is centred around the adoption of battery electric vehicles.
  • While the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is widely recognized as the future, the specific path forward is still uncertain.
  • Net-Zero Target refers to a state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by the absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Probable Question: Q. Discuss the challenges faced by battery electric vehicles in India, and what government initiatives have been implemented to promote their adoption?
About E-Vehicles:
  •  E-vehicles are vehicles that are powered by electricity instead of internal combustion engines (ICE) that run on fossil fuels.
  • They use electric motors and rechargeable batteries to propel the vehicle and provide power to various components.

Image Credits: The Indian Express

Potential of E-Vehicles Market:
  • By 2030, 80% of two and three-wheelers, 40% of buses, and 30 to 70% of cars in India will be electric vehicles, as per estimates of the NITI Aayog.
  • As per a recent study, the electric vehicles (EVs) market is expected to be worth around at least 475 billion by 2025. 
  • The penetration of electric two-wheelers is projected to reach up to 15% by 2025 from 1% currently.
  • The EV industry is expected to create 5 crore direct and indirect jobs by 2030, the Economic Survey 2022-23 stated.
  • The domestic electric vehicles (EV) market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49% between 2022 and 2030 and is expected to hit one crore units of annual sales by 2030,
  • The sector’s importance is gauged by the fact that it contributes 7.1%to the overall GDP and 49% to the manufacturing GDP while generating direct and indirect employment of 3.7 crore at the end of 2021,”
Advantages of Electric Vehicles:
  • Environmental Impact: Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, meaning they do not release pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), or particulate matter into the air during operation.
  • Energy Efficiency: Electric motors are more efficient than internal combustion engines, converting a higher percentage of energy from the battery into propulsion.
  • Renewable Energy Integration: Electric vehicles can be charged using electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power.
  • Government Incentives to consumers: Many governments provide incentives, such as tax credits, rebates, or subsidies, to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. These incentives can help lower the upfront cost of purchasing an EV and make them more affordable.
  • Energy Independence: Widespread adoption of electric vehicles reduces dependence on imported fossil fuels.
  • High Purchasing Cost: The electric variants of the 2 and 4 wheelers are often priced much higher than regular fuel options.
  • High Maintenance Cost: The maintenance costs are high mainly due to the lack of necessary amenities. 
    • For Example: There are more than 65,000 petrol bunks in India but only 1640 EV charging stations.
  •  Inadequate infrastructure: The lack of adequate charging infrastructure in our country is a huge barrier to increased EV penetration.
  • Lesser Resale Value: Currently, the EV market is fragmented with independent dealerships which make it difficult to create proper infrastructure for second-hand sales.
  • Lack of Availability: The EVs in India so far have only been variants of the already available fossil-fuel driven 2 and 4 wheelers.
    • High performing luxury variants or supercars like the Teslas are yet to hit the Indian markets.
  • Limited Resources: It is anticipated that scaling up lithium production would be a challenge, leading to supply shortage that may cause manufacturers to use lower-quality mineral inputs, adversely affecting battery performance of EVs.
  • Power Supply: Lack of constant power supply in villages and smaller towns and metros like Delhi and NCR having major breakdowns for hours at a stretch.
Government Initiatives to promote e- vehicles:
  • National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Storage: It aims to drive strategies for transformative mobility and Phased Manufacturing Programmes for electric vehicles, electric vehicle Components and Batteries.
  • Tax Exemption: A tax exemption of Rs 1.5 lakh is also given for people buying electric cars on loan. The GST for the purchase of EVs is set at just 5% with zero cess.
  • FAME Scheme: Under the FAME or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Scheme, the government has been trying to improve the infrastructure for electric vehicle manufacturing in the country.
  • Battery Swapping Policy: In the 2022 budget, a battery swapping policy was announced as an easier way to charge EVs.

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  • Production Linked Incentive Scheme: The government also announced a Production Linked Incentive scheme for automakers, a part of which aims to boost electric vehicles manufacturing.
  • Make In India: The government introduced a slew of measures in line with the ‘Make in India’ campaign to incentivise manufacturers to produce components locally and build a structured policy framework as India is heavily dependent on China for lithium supply chains constraining the widespread deployment of EVs.
Way Forward:
  • Government Policies and Incentives: The Indian government should continue to implement supportive policies which could include offering financial incentives such as subsidies, tax credits, and exemptions and policies that promote EV manufacturing.
  • Charging Infrastructure Development: Establishing a robust and widespread charging infrastructure network is crucial to support the growth of EVs.
  • Public Transportation Electrification: Encouraging the adoption of electric buses, taxis, and other forms of public transportation can have a significant impact on reducing emissions and promoting EVs.
  • Domestic Manufacturing and Supply Chain: Promoting domestic manufacturing of EVs and their components can boost the local economy, create job opportunities, and reduce dependence on imports.
  • Research and Development: Investing in research and development initiatives focused on EV technology and collaboration between industry, academia, and research institutions is vital for developing indigenous technologies and addressing specific challenges related to India’s unique conditions.
  • Regulatory Reforms: Continuously reviewing and updating regulations and policies related to EVs can help create a favourable ecosystem.
News Source: The Indian Express

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