The urge to be self-reliant: Niti Aayog's latest proposal on battery manufacturing may prove to be the impetus needed to wean India's auto sector off of Chinese battery imports | Photo: Wired

Niti Aayog proposes $4.6 billion in subsidies to spur domestic battery manufacturing

India’s top planning body, Niti Aayog, has drafted a proposal that would earmark $4.6 billion in subsidies over 10 years to spur battery manufacturing in the country and cut its dependence on Chinese imports. The proposal, if cleared by the Centre, would release $122 million in FY21 and the amount will be progressively increased every year thereafter. India’s domestic battery market size is also expected to grow from around the current 5GWh to 230GWh by 2030, and the draft proposes to hike the import duties on Chinese li-ion batteries from the current 5% to 15% after 2022 to help local manufacturers gain market share. 

EVs cost half as much as ICE vehicles to maintain and repair: Study

A new study by Consumer Reports, a non-profit organisation known for its unbiased reviews, says that EVs cost half as much in maintenance and repair costs as gasoline vehicles. The study analysed the two types of vehicles, and plug-in hybrids, over 200,000 miles in the US and found their lifetime costs per mile on maintenance and repair to be $0.031 for EVs, $0.030 for PHEVs and $0.061 for gasoline vehicles. The report does specify that EVs’ repairs may not be cheap, but the cars also need much less of it over their lifetimes and thus save their owners’ money. 

A separate study by the organisation also says that on average, EVs emit 60% less emissions than gasoline vehicles. 

Tesla announces tabless batteries with major power capacity upgrade 

Tesla Motors has announced that it has achieved a new breakthrough in battery technology with its new “tabless batteries”, that the automaker claims would increase the range of its current generation of li-ion cells by 16%. The tabless battery, which gets rid of the metal connection between the battery and the load it powers and cuts the path an electron has to travel from 250mm to 50mm, would store 5X more energy and would also lower Tesla’s cost per kWh by an impressive 14% — which would make its cars significantly more competitive with petrol and diesel vehicles. 

California bans sale of new ICE vehicles by 2035 

The governor of California has announced that the state will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles starting 2035, purportedly to promote ‘sustainable’ vehicles, such as battery electric vehicles. California has been leading the US states in EV adoption and already requires automakers to sell cars that comply with its strict fuel efficiency norms. The state has also been ravaged by record wildfires this summer and its governor, Gavin Newsom, has openly talked about the necessity of tackling climate change. 

The sentiment behind the ban is echoed by the EU, which is now considering slashing its limit for ICE cars’ per km carbon emissions from 95 grams to 47.5g by 2030. The target, if approved into law, would require the EU’s new car sales to go from EVs accounting for 4% of the market at the moment to more than 60%.

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