India is home to seven of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world, underlining the need for cleaner transport solutions. Why then are Electric Vehicles (EVs) seen as a distant reality? Atul Mudaliar, Head of Business Actions, the Climate Group, India separates fact from fiction and looks ahead to India’s electric mobility future.
India is a prime market for electric transport with huge EV potential. The industry, with support from government policy, is innovating on new products, building supporting infrastructure, and experimenting with new ways of financing. Yet when the Climate Group set out to understand things better, especially from a business perspective, we found that a part of the challenge for EVs was the long-standing myths around them.
These myths are making consumers (including personal and commercial EV buyers) largely hesitant in completely trusting EVs as a viable transport option.
How then can we change the notions commonly held about EVs in a dynamic country like India?
This got us thinking. We reached out to a forum of industry experts, policymakers, and our EV100 member companies to help bring the myths to the fore. In doing so, we found phenomenal innovation across value chains and novel business models backed by rich on-ground experience for the deployment of EVs and chargers.
The myths broken down
We need a dense public fast-charging network
From global examples, regular home or destination slow Alternating Current (AC) charging infrastructure should suffice for most uses (70-80%). Direct Current or DC fast charging would be required only in cases of highway charging or commercial charging where vehicle utilization is high, and vehicle idle time is low.
By Maxson Lewis, Managing Director, Magenta Power – ChargeGrid
EVs are slow and have limited range
Electric cars and high-speed electric two-wheelers have advanced high-performance ‘powertrains’. These vehicle systems can offer better acceleration in comparison to Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) powertrains and allow comfortable speeds for intra-city driving.
From a sample size of 85 e-2-wheeler models and 5 e-car models on the Indian market today, average range was 84 Kilometers (kms) and 300km per charge respectively, which is more than enough for day-to-day use.
By Jyoti Gulia, Director – JMK Research and Analytics
Electric vehicles are more expensive than ICE vehicles
When comparing the upfront cost, fuel costs and maintenance costs, we find that running EVs for more kms/day results in substantial fuel cost savings over ICE vehicles, making EVs much cheaper over their lifetimes.
Co-authored by Falgun Patel, The Climate Group and Nishant Saini, Founder & Managing Director – eeeTaxi
There is no government support for electric vehicles in India
In India, governments (Central and State) have consistently promoted manufacturing and adoption of EVs. Capital subsidies on purchase of EVs under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles II (FAME II), Goods & Services Tax (GST) on EVs has been reduced from 12% to 5%, an income tax deduction of INR 1,50,000+ can be claimed on the interest paid on loans taken for EVs.
By Charu Lata, Lead Consultant – Electric Mobility, NRDC India
EVs give unsatisfactory vehicle experiences
Electrified shared mobility could lead to range anxiety
Today’s new-age electric vehicles are adequately powered and can achieve speeds like ICE vehicles. The EV transition has allowed automakers to integrate technology like Artificial Intellegence and IoT, thereby enhancing user experience.
Shared e-mobility is an essential solution to solve congestion in cities. The average daily run of a vehicle in a city is much lower than the corresponding average EV range. With tech-enabled shared e-mobility infrastructure, the user is always aware of the estimated remaining range and nearest charging/battery-swapping station, making range anxiety a non-issue.
By Vinay Rotti, Head – Policy & Strategic Finance at Bounce and Pradeep Karuturi, Policy and Government Partnerships at Bounce
Charging EVs with India’s electricity grid is worse than driving ICE vehicles
Transport and Environment finds that EVs manufactured and charged with Poland’s electricity reduce CO2 emissions by ~29% compared to average of petrol and diesel CO2 emissions. India, in fact, has a slightly better grid emission factor than Poland, which means EVs already reduce emissions.
By Abhishek Ranjan – Energy and Electric Mobility Industry Expert in India