India Towards Sustainable Mobility: Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) & Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PHEV) take the lead
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The rising pollution is presenting a severe problem before the common man and the policy makers alike. The severity of the problem can be imagined by the fact that seven out of the top ten most polluted cities of the world is in India. A great part of the problem is attributed to smoke emitting vehicles. Moving towards CNG supported vehicle was a way to deal with the problem but it could not ease the problem. Again, after the analysis of the modes of future transport vehicles and pollution associated with it, the EVs presented a great hope.
Adoption of EVs has become the need for national fuel and energy security, eco-friendly transportation and pollution control. Recognising the importance, the government has taken various policy measures to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. Recently Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman announced an additional tax relief of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans availed for purchasing electric vehicles.
Government is taking all possible steps to make EV easily pliable on roads and also to create a lucrative EV market. In this regard government has launched National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 in 2013 which aims to attain national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country.
The Modern Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are equipped with all the technologies that will make us develop an eco-friendly transport system. The zero-emission vehicles are much cheaper in terms of per km consumption. Maintenance of EVs is also easy as they have fewer moving parts than a conventional car. EVs are adaptable to solar PV system which will promote green power. They have a lower risk of fires or explosions. Their body structure and durability make them less vulnerable during a collision. Hence, it can be said that the vehicle will reduce the ill health effects while ensuring better air quality and less noise pollution.
Despite the government's push the adoption is facing hurdles like high upfront purchase price, non-existence of public charging facility and low investment in manufacturing. According to NEMMP 2020 the target is to achieve 6-7 million sales of the vehicles. Various state governments have also taken steps in this regard. They are introducing policy changes along with boosting infrastructure requirements.
India will have EVs with three technology support system like Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in all segments of vehicles. According to NITI Aayog Indian EV industry could add about $300 billion by 2030 with 7 million vehicles by 2020. Battery swapping system will mitigate the problem of charging. These can be attributed to infrastructure development and demand side growth. Even cab aggregators are aiming to turn their vehicles electric. Electrification, shared mobility, connectivity and autonomous driving are some of the technology driven trends which are leading the industry.
There are many challenges that the EV market is facing in India. Cost of these vehicles is the top most concern, it is primarily driven by Lithium ion batteries that sometimes covers upto 70 per cent of the cost of the vehicle. India is short of Lithium which makes the situation worse. High charging time is another concern which is about 6 to 8 hours. Frequent charging stations are needed to handle the situation and save the time. Creating such an infrastructure is another challenge. Providing renewable energy to these stations is the next challenge as we have to avoid fossil fuel generated energy.
Though there are challenges but these can be overcome with all the necessary support from the government. Government needs to work to encourage both manufacturers and consumers. Government can announce various incentives like reduction in road tax and toll tax, income tax benefits, free parking and many more. Helping EV industry to flourish is the way to deal with the environmental menace which is approaching fast.
EVs are the sustainable solution of mobility which has become the need to deal with the environmental threats that are approaching fast. Most of the state governments have recognized the need and are trying to increase the number of EVs on roads. The government’s efforts are bringing changes in market but lots of incentives are required. The most important is to develop the infrastructure required. People are also recognizing the environmental problems and changing their choices according to environmental sustainability. No doubt there are challenges but change in government policies and better investments will yield better results.