Reducing air pollution the best reason to buy EVs

Focus should be on 2 and 3 wheelers which make up 81% of vehicle sales. 12 and 20 seater public transportation vehicles would help reduce congestion and help improve health

New Delhi, 30 August 2018: India is the world’s fourth largest market for automobiles and the largest market for the two-wheeler segment. According to the Society of Indian Auto Manufacturers (SIAM), close to 20 million two wheelers where manufactured and sold in India last year[1].

Most of these two wheelers use petrol as fuel, while very few use diesel. According to SIAM, the average CO2 emissions from two wheelers sold in India (across all categories) stands at approx. 53g/km[2]. Considering that India sold 20 million two-wheelers last year, even if each of them drove for a conservative average of 10km every day, the resulting annual emission would stand at over 10,000 tons of CO2. It is important to note that these figures are only derived from only two wheelers sold last year. Accounting for the numbers of sold in the last 10 years, the emissions load would be even higher.

Transportation is responsible for close to 24% of India’s CO2 emissions and the country is also home to 14 of the top 20 most polluted cities of the world. Therefore, moving to electric vehicles not only makes climate sense, it’s also important from a public health perspective. And with nearly 80% of all vehicles sold in India last year being two-wheelers, the segment holds enormous potential for emissions reduction through electrification.

Also with 40% of the country’s electricity targeted for generation from renewable energy sources by 2030, electric vehicles can truly aim to go green. India is exploring the possibility of setting a target of 30% of all new vehicles sold in the country by 2030 to be EVs. According to IIT Madras analyses, recharging all these vehicles would collectively consume about 5% of India’s current electricity output.

Some states have recognised the benefits of transitioning to EVs and have already come out with their own regulations. Maharashtra has announced a 15% upfront subsidy on the first 100,000 EVs registered as well as announced that it will enable manufacturing of 500,000 EVs in the state in the next 5 years. Likewise, Karnataka is also looking to attract manufacturers by investing about Rs. 31,000cr to become India’s preferred EV manufacturing destination. Both Maharashtra and Karnataka have also exempted EVs from road tax and registration fees.

Andhra Pradesh has not announced it EV policy yet but aims to completely transition to electric buses for public transportation by 2030, as well as marked investments of up to Rs. 30,000cr to set up EV manufacturing facilities. The state is also giving land at concessional prices for EV manufacturing units. Similarly, Telangana’s draft EV plan also aims to completely transition to electric public transport systems.

Not just state governments, private entities have also taken steps to transition to EVs. IKEA has acquired a fleet of electric three wheelers to deliver its products to its consumers[3] in Hyderabad. Similarly Wipro and SBI have joined the EV100 program – managed by the Climate Group – to become the first to set up corporate EV targets. Both the entities aim to transition their global vehicle fleet to 100% EVs by 2030.

The central government is yet to announce its EV policy and perhaps may do so during its Global Mobility Summit – which is scheduled to take place on the 7th and the 8th of September.


Quotes from experts present at the roundtable –

“This is not the way to attract investments. There has to be a goal and then no deviation from that date. Due to lack of clarity on what needs to be done for EVs, the industry will be getting killed. Part of it has been happening. The industry is looking for very clear-cut policies, and a clear signal on what is the carrot, and what is the stick on when it comes to EVs in India.” Mr. Naveen Munjal, Hero Electric

“The industry needs clarity on long term vision, and we hope that the PM will give direction at the MOVE summit. There must be clarity also on the short-term incentives- like which vehicles are getting what kind of subsidy; and the non-fiscal incentives- like those around fleet ownership, permits, etc. Only when the three boxes are checked, there will be a clear roadmap of how India will drive on the road to electric mobility.

“Daily flip flop discourages investments, it is fine to not have a policy but the current hyperbolic statements from the government and policy makers is making the momentum lost.” Mr. Ajay Goel, Sun Mobility 

“India does not need to look towards Nissan and Tesla for EVs, India’s needs are unique and hence we don’t need to look to the west. Majority of the vehicles sold in India are 2 and 3 wheelers, along with 12 and 20-seater public transportation vehicles should be the focus”

“Electric-mobility for larger vehicles (12, 20, 30 seater etc.) would make EVs even more economically competitive.

“India needs to become the leader in EVs in the 2 & 3 wheelers category, as this is a huge opportunity for job creation. And we are certainly capable of manufacturing the small motors and battery packs needed for such vehicles. If India doesn’t do it, China will capitalise on the opportunity and start exporting to India.” Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, IIT – Madras, Principal Advisor, Minister of Railways, Government of India, New Delhi, India

“Delhi govt is looking at battery disposal to not create a bigger problem as electric vehicle share increased in the city. Its looking to expand its electric bus fleet for public transportation. The Delhi government is soon to release its policy on EV” Mr. Jasmine Shah, Advisor to the Delhi Government

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