Switching to Electric Vehicle Is Difficult Without Omnipresent Charging Infrastructure, Says Ratan Tata

The Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons has asked governments across the world and auto industry to take a measured view on the propulsion system for cars of the future

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At a time when most of the auto companies are unveiling electric vehicles (EVs) at the ongoing Auto Expo–The Motor Show 2020, Ratan Tata, the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons has asked governments across the world and auto industry to take a measured view on the propulsion system for cars of the future.  

Instagram & Twitter

Taking to Instagram on Wednesday, Tata wrote that jumping into an all-EV ecosystem is difficult especially without omnipresent charging infrastructure. He also added that India’s journey to EV adoption can be supported by improved internal combustion engines (ICE) and use of hybrid vehicles.

Switching to electric vehicles (EVs) is happening in India slowly, but steadily. This switch is well supported by the changing mindset of consumers along with automobile makers.

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Tata Resurrected Sierra As EV

Tata Motors showcased its products at the Auto Expo 2020 with its theme of being responsible, safe and connected mobility across categories. 

The company resurrected its 1990s model Sierra in an EV avatar. The Tata Sierra EV is based on  Altroz’ ALFA platform and includes several design cues of the original Sierra such as the curved-over rear-side windows. 

Credit: Tata Motors Twitter

However, unlike the original Sierra, the EV concept's side windows wrap all the way around, and, in fact, is a glass canopy.

Need For Robust EV Charging Infrastructure

Not only Tata but other experts, too, have expressed their opinion on the need for charging infrastructure for EV adoption. With inadequate charging infra, adoption of EVs by consumers will be difficult owing to range anxiety.

Last year in November, while speaking at an industry event, Harkiran Sanjeevi, deputy director general at NITI Aayog, explained that development of any kind of infrastructure takes time. She explained that the government is working to address the issues related to EV charging infrastructure and is also working with state-level agencies to ensure that the charging stations are put in place.

According to a report by Florence School of Regulation, there are two major challenges faced by the charging ecosystem in India—firstly, ensuring the deployment of the charging infrastructure and secondly, integration of the EVs into the power system securely and efficiently.

The report stated that the business model of EV charging in India is at the introductory stage and focuses on kick-starting the market. The dominant business model includes providing charging solutions to business such as bus and taxi fleets and some B2C service providers. “The current charging station roll-out is led by utilities and public sector undertakings with limited but growing private sector involvement. Hence, there is a large scope for business innovation in India’s EV charging space,” the report noted.

Shreya Ganguly

Written By

Covering startups and investments for Entrepreneur India. Previously a startup correspondent at Inc42. Reach out to me with interesting story ideas at sganguly@entrepreneurindia.com.