India could host ‘Detroit’ of EVs

The country sold 54,800 electric two-wheelers in 2018

July 04, 2019 10:24 pm | Updated 10:24 pm IST - NEW DELHI

With the right policies, it’s possible that one of India’s cities could become the ‘Detroit of electric vehicles,’ the Economic Survey said in a chapter on enabling inclusive growth through affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

India has a “National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NEMMP)” in place to “achieve sales” of 60-70 lakh units of electric vehicles (that includes buses, two-wheelers and cars) by 2020.

In 2015, the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles (FAME) scheme was launched to fast-track the goals of NEMMP with an outlay of ₹795 crore.

FAME India Phase II, with an emphasis on electrification of public transport, was also launched from April 1, 2019, with a total outlay of ₹10,000 crore over the next three years. Several states, including Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, had drafted EV policies.

Globally, the sales of electric cars have grown from just over 2,000 units sold in 2008 to over 10 lakh in 2017.

More than half of the sales were in China. The market share of electric cars is around 2% in China while it is around 39% in Norway. Electrification of two-wheelers and buses has also picked up. Global sales of electric buses were about one lakh and sales of two-wheelers were estimated at three crore, according to the chapter note.

In India, electric two wheelers have been the major part of EV sales with sales of around 54,800 in 2018. Compared to this, sales of electric cars have been only around 2,000 in 2017, Indian market share in electric cars is only 0.06%. According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), Uttar Pradesh topped the list of the States with highest EV sales of 6,878 units in 2017-18, followed by Haryana at 6,307 units and Gujarat at 6,010 units. Maharashtra reported a sales of 4,865 EVs while West Bengal came in fifth with sales of 4,706 units.

India’s adoption of electric vehicles, the report said, was part of its larger thrust towards increasing the share of renewable energy and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The share of renewables (excluding hydro above 25 MW) in total power generation was around 10% in 2018-19 compared with around 6% in 2014-15. India stands fourth in wind power, fifth in solar power and fifth in renewable power installed capacity. The cumulative renewable power installed capacity has more than doubled from 35 GW on 31 March 2014 to 78 GW on 31 March 2019.

In addition, around 27 GW renewable power capacity is under installation and over 38 GW under bidding. The target is to achieve an installed capacity of renewable based power of 175 GW by the year 2022.

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