The Future of E-Vehicles in India

It is indeed very heartening to know about the initiative, that by 2030 we would have only e-cars for sale. The Government of India needs to be lauded for this announcement. Looking forward with the same fervour to a greener nation, as anyone concerned about environment or advancement in technology would. Imagine no burning of fossil fuels or even bio fuels! Electric cars also age better than normal cars as the motors do not wear out due to heat and friction anywhere near as much as in cars with internal combustion engines do. A five year old EV performs the same as when it was new. Just charge your car battery and zoom out! No doubt, in the same breath, I must point out that the common man is concerned about the infrastructure made available to him by 2030, before stringent compliances are sought, and without which, the drive would seem meaningless, it is also of paramount significance that not only are the laws upgraded, but the man on the street is educated about this paradigm shift.

What worries me more, is the plan or strategy that is on the anvil, to assume this transition. A single car has approximately 3, 400 moving parts and an electric car has just about 200 at best. What is going to happen to the numerous auto manufacturers, ancillaries that make components, the dealers that sell the cars with a support system for service aand repairs? The question is at least two if not multi dimensional. Transitioning to EVs is not only upgradation of the manufacturing infrastructural systems but also re-skilling for meaningful employability. In addition a review of performance standards for quality in the entire supply chain would be necessitated. Since transformation as a subject is very close to my heart, I have been having brief interactions with SIAM, ACCMA and FADA as to how these associations were projecting their plans. While SIAM has a special cell working on the subject, the plans are a far cry. ACCMA and FADA, the auto ancillary and the dealership associations have no clue as to what needs to be done and that, I am afraid is a pathetic situation. A larger chunk of the automobile industry is governed by these associations. SIAM governs the major auto manufacturers, whose wherewithal is sufficient to see them through the transition, without many odds and hiccups. The anguish therfore, is the first chunk, where a much larger population is involved. An uphill task would be to help this population in perceiving the challenges in their right perspectives and accept alternatives.

Lobbying against the EVs would therefore continue on the political platform, while the Government is envisioning ambitiously for an India of the future. It is recommended in right earnestness that even if the timeline has been fixed for 2030, the Government needs to step on the gas now to enter the transition mode, which calls for an ardous yet plausible strategy.

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