How is India Inc Moving Towards Sustainability

Electric cars have risen again following the concept's dismissal. Cheap gasoline rates were at the centre of the dismissal of electric cars. However, Nikola Tesla had proposed that electric cars would be the future. Tesla's prediction has come a long way with electric cars slowly taking over the dominance of ICE-powered cars.

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By Saptak Bardhan


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Sustainability has become a raging issue all over the globe as all the countries are trying to eliminate carbon emissions and pollutants by adopting green energy. Solar power, tidal power, hydro power, electric cars are only a few to point out. ICE-powered cars (Internal Combustion Engine) have become the bane of countries trying to eliminate carbon emissions.

Electric cars have risen again following the concept's dismissal. Cheap gasoline rates were at the centre of the dismissal of electric cars. However, Nikola Tesla had proposed that electric cars would be the future. Tesla's prediction has come a long way with electric cars slowly taking over the dominance of ICE-powered cars.

India has been at the centre of cutting emissions as it signed the Paris Agreement which states that countries a part of the Paris Agreement should reach carbon neutrality by 2050. India is pushing EVs for the population to adopt. While the adoption remains a challenge due to poor infrastructure, it is not slowing down the EV ecosystem.

"Electric vehicles (EVs) have been around for quite a while, but over the past decade, advancement and interest in the field have increased. Customers have an abundance of options now that both domestic and foreign automakers have introduced their EVs to the Indian market. The case for the adoption of EVs has been strengthened further by a desire to lower pollution levels and reliance on imported oil. More importantly, the Indian government has been providing incentives to encourage the use of EVs, including tax breaks and subsidies for EV purchases, which has accelerated EV penetration in the country," said Mridu Mahendra Das, co-founder and CEO, Automovill.

The EV ecosystem had hit a brick wall, stripping it of its momentum, when a few electric vehicles caught fire. A lot of EV companies were forced to call back sold products in order to maintain consumer safety. The notable members of the saga were Ola EVs, Okinawa Motors, etc. However, the ecosystem bounced back stronger. Meanwhile, the government released a mandate stating that batteries needed to go through rigorous testing in order to be approved.

"The regulations set by the government for batteries will likely have a meaningful impact on the electric vehicle (EV) market in India. The regulations will encourage manufacturers to adopt best practices for battery production, which will result in the development of more advanced, reliable and safe batteries. This will also be essential for the long-term growth of India's EV market, as consumers will more likely adopt EVs only when the confidence is built that the batteries will perform as promised as well are safe in all conditions. On the other hand, the regulations may also create some challenges for manufacturers," said Anmol Bohre, co-founder and CEO, Enigma Electric.

The Union government had set up incentives. FAME-I and FAME-II incentives were a big part of making the electric cars affordable for the Indian population. The high cost of acquisition of electric vehicles has kept the majority of Indian population sceptical about electric vehicles. Not just the initial high cost of acquisition but the poor infrastructure as well as the road conditions. However, the Union government has started to electrify the highways in order to make the highways more accessible for electric cars.

Range Anxiety has been a real thing for the EV owners. The electrification of the highways would eliminate the threat of running out of juice in the middle of the road or being stranded without a charger.

The recently concluded Union Budget also witnessed that the custom duty of lithium ion batteries has been slashed by 13 per cent.

"This is a great move forward; we really appreciate the governments providing concession on battery manufacturing helping the battery demand will skyrocket. India is still despite the PLI schemes way behind on battery manufacturing. This will make multiple players to build manufacturing plants including OSM," said Uday Narang, founder and chairman, Omega Seiki Mobility.

The Make-in-India narrative is growing stronger with Omega Seiki Mobility having announced a INR 400 crore investment in building a battery plant in India. However, manufacturers would have to increase expenditures to comply with the new regulations put in place which would result in the concessions not impacting the price of electric vehicles. However, the winds of change are strong and a strong belief in the notion of making the ICE-powered cars history.

"The public transport sector at this point is in a transition mode. Electric buses and EV cabs are the two major forms of public transport that are at the forefront of EV adoption. Having said that, the current announcement from the government is to provide more impetuous to installing more and more public charging infra that will enhance the operational viability of EVs in public transport. Also, the new battery safety standard will ensure that batteries with the revised safety standards will be implemented in the public EV transport sector," said Pankaj Sharma, co-founder and director, Log9 Materials

India is changing for the better by adopting cleaner energy sources. Infrastructure has been a bane of India's EV ecosystem existence. However, the country and the EV ecosystem are making huge strides in either direction. With the adoption increasing in EVs, the government has also issued a mandate to electrify commercial cars as well in order to meet the requirements in the Paris Agreement.

While things are changing, the electric vehicle ecosystem in India is at a nascent stage. The best of the EV ecosystem is yet to come.

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