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All Charged Up! An E-revolution is Upon Us When a need is felt by a nation, that's when a revolution begins to take over

By Sanil Sachar

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With the ever-rising population, increasing commute, and faster-paced lives, travelling long and short distances are more important now than it ever was. This increasing demand, supply and the environmental damage it causes is a key reason we are now amidst the Electric Vehicles (EV) revolution.

Both public and private players are racing towards a smarter and cleaner future.

But Where do we Begin?

3,800 start-ups/companies in the EV space worldwide and India constitutes less than 10per cent of this population with a significant rise over time, as two-thirds of these have originated since 2014.

Therefore, the EV adoption isn't a trend that will have a shelf-life; rather it is a lifestyle change that is here to stay.

Why Now?

74.6per cent of Indian energy consumptions depends on fossil fuels. The recently signed Paris climate treaty will result in 40 per cent reduction of installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. This agreement is a green light from India towards a greener environment.

1per cent of total sales of vehicles are EV, which is scheduled to rise with to the aim of 30per cent by 2030. Our governments plan towards investing 1,000 crores towards charging infrastructure is a propeller to private players looking to solve for the conversion towards electric.

Factors like these being witnessed in India showcase increasing adoption with the help of public and private partnerships.

What we Should be Mindful of –

Despite the adoption of EVs diminishing the usage of fossil fuels, India doesn't have the luxury of surplus power, which could lead to dependency on other regions to find a solution.

Moreover, the EV sector is going to be accountable for creating 10 million jobs but we're yet to establish where these qualifications will be granted from. Support provided by institutions like the IITs and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship showcase promise in there being enough talent emerging at the rate needed to cope with the growth.

Four Sub-sectors Acting as the Starting Point –

Battery Level Innovations

Innovations at the core of the battery, and areas impacting its performance are key elements that will significantly improve the adoption. This is primarily to overcome range anxiety. Improved performance will directly lead to increased operational feasibility.

As batteries improve over time, battery management systems (BMS) will play a vital role in understanding consumption patterns tracking usage and behaviour.

Energy Infrastructure

In order to achieve the estimated high growth rate of EV adoption, innovative models of battery swapping will assist this rise. Followed by increasing infrastructure being set up. The government's plan to add 2,700 charging stations across the country as part of FAME II, is an added assistance.

Low-Cost Manufacturing

Cost of manufacturing and setup are primary considerations for adoption and increased productivity. In order to improve unit economics, a core value chain needs to be constructed, providing test beds for ventures to pilot their innovations in a controlled environment.

Data-driven Solutions

This can be seen through SaaS-based models to enable increased productivity of the vehicle, which can be leveraged through IoT enabled solutions entrenched in both product and service level layers.

Adopters and Who Will Hit the Ground Running –

The two major food delivery companies in India constitute around 4 lac scooters. If we consider logistics and hyperlocal ventures, the universe of adopters becomes increasingly lucrative.

Partnerships between the likes of Sun Mobility and Ashok Leyland coming together, and the electric mobility service venture SmartE, partnering with Mahindra Electric to include 10,000 of Mahindra's electric three-wheelers across its operations in India by 2020, showcases a trend towards teamwork between start-ups and larger organizations.

For the largest market of two-wheelers, with 19 million on the road, adoption towards electric will provide a reduction of 75-85per cent in maintaining the vehicle.

Public transport will follow suit, with the central government inviting bids to deploy 5,000 electric buses with grants up to 40per cent on cost.

To Conclude Before we Add on -

There are some fundamental truths but no direct right or wrong on the way forward. Aligning our strengths into enabling a full-stack solution is the need of the hour!

Sanil Sachar

Entrepreneur, National Best-Selling Author & Angel Investor, Co-founder - Huddle, Co-owner - Trusox

Sanil Sachar is one of the co-founders of Huddle, a sector-agnostic incubator in Gurgaon, providing 360-degree support to multiple startups. He is also a co-owner of the international sports brand, Trusox, focussing his efforts on propelling sportspeople's performances with his products, within and outside India. Sanil is a national best-selling author, and one of the few Indian writers to be published in all forms of literature, with over 120 poems, 25 short stories, scripts and a novel to his name. An angel investor, he actively looks for startups solving need-based issues to get involved with and help through their evolution. His investments are sector agnostic and have made him venture into co-producing an award-winning Indie movie, Mantra. A sportsperson by passion, Sanil's principles off the field are inspired by those he learned on the field
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