Growing awareness towards conservation of environment, expectation & knowledge of hassle-free driving and government’s favourable policies are driving the popularity and growth of the Electric Vehicles (EVs) among the vehicle owners in India. The industry is quite optimistic about the future and ready to offer highly innovative EVs… - P. K. Chatterjee (PK)

Sum of the measures of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) released in the atmosphere is called carbon footprint. GHGs keep the earth warm, however, excessive emission of GHGs increases the atmospheric temperature, which we are experiencing today. Thus at present, the global focus is on reduction of emission of GHGs. Unfortunately, in 2022, the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has suddenly increased the GHG emission by 33 million tons. In a way, ‘what can’t be cured must be endured,’ has been the global impression on this reprehensible action of Russia.

Anyway, leaving apart geopolitics, in this article, I would like to focus on what rest of the world is doing to mitigate GHG emission. Also, considering the beat of this magazine, I will restrict my focus on transition from ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) to EV (Electric Vehicles).

The global scenario  

According to the latest report from IEA (International Energy Agency), “Electric vehicles are the key technology to decarbonise road transport, a sector that accounts for 16% of global emissions. Recent years have seen exponential growth in the sale of electric vehicles together with improved range, wider model availability and increased performance. Passenger electric cars are surging in popularity – we estimate that 13% of new car sold in 2022 will be electric; if the growth experienced in the past two years is sustained, CO2 emissions from cars can be put on a path in line with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario. However, electric vehicles are not yet a global phenomenon. Sales in developing and emerging countries have been slow due to higher purchase costs and a lack of charging infrastructure availability. ”

The report also states, “Electric car sales reached a record high in 2021, despite supply chain bottlenecks and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Compared with 2020, sales nearly doubled to 6.6 million (a sales share of nearly 9%), bringing the total number of electric cars on the road to 16.5 million. The sales share of electric cars increased by four percentage points in 2021. The Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario sees an electric car fleet of over 300 million in 2030 and electric cars accounting for 60% of new car sales. Getting on track with the Net Zero Scenario requires their sales share to increase by less than 6% percentage points per year.”

The Indian scenario

Government’s Support

The Government of India is quite supportive to the process of transition. Under Phase-II of FAME India Scheme, 7,45,713 Electric Vehicles have been supported till 07.12.2022 by way of Demand Incentive amounting to about Rs. 3,200 crores,  Further, Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI) has sanctioned 6,315 e-buses to 65 cities/STUs/CTUs/ State Govt. entities for intracity and intercity operations across 26 states/UT under the Scheme.

The government notified Phase-II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid & Electric) Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme for a period of five years commencing from 1st April, 2019 with a total budgetary support of Rs. 10,000 crore. This phase mainly focuses on supporting electrification of public & shared transportation and aims to support through demand incentive 7,090 e-Buses, 5 lakh e-3 Wheelers, 55,000 e-4 Wheeler Passenger Cars and 10 lakh e-2 Wheelers. Under this scheme, incentives are provided to buyers of electric vehicles in the form of an upfront reduction in the purchase price of electric vehicles.

Steps to address the challenges

From 11th June, 2021 the demand incentive under Phase II of FAME India Scheme has been increased to Rs. 15,000/kWh from Rs. 10,000/kWh with an increase in cap from 20% to 40% of the cost of vehicle, thus enabling cost of electric two wheelers at par with that of ICE two wheeler vehicles. Further, on 25th June, 2021 Phase II of FAME India scheme was extended for a period of 2 years up to 31st March 2024.

The government on 12th May 2021 approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for manufacturing of Advance Chemistry Cell (ACC) in the country in order to bring down prices of battery. The drop in battery prices will result in cost reduction of Electric Vehicles.

EVs are covered under PLI scheme for Automobile and Auto Components, which was approved on 15th September 2021 with a budgetary outlay of Rs. 25,938 crore for a period of five years.

GST on electric vehicles has been reduced from 12% to 5%; GST on chargers/ charging stations for electric vehicles has been reduced from 18% to 5%.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has announced that battery-operated vehicles will be given green license plates and be exempted from permit requirements.

MoRTH issued a notification advising states to waive road tax on EVs, which in turn will help reduce the initial cost of EVs.

Recent offerings from a few companies (associated with EV sector) in India

HOP Electric

HOP Electric is an integrated electric 2-wheeler mobility company with a comprehensive eco-system approach. HOP Electric is a successful mandate holder of the Government of India’s (GOI’s) ambitious PLI scheme for Auto. The company offers two unique 2-wheelers – HOP LEO and HOP LYF, which have garnered immense consumer attraction. HOP has also launched its high-speed electric bike named HOP OXO.

HOP Electric Mobility’s electric motorcycle OXO…

Trouve Motor

Trouve Motor is a manufacturer of high-speed electric motorcycles and sports cars, bringing in Block-Chain integrated structure with its own metaverse ecosystem. Trouve will roll out an advanced hyper-sports bike, which is designed to reach a speed of over 200 km/hr and also a range of around 350-500 km. Following the glimpse of its hyper-sports bike recently, the company is now up with its first Hyper Maxi Scooter, H2. The futuristic scooter is completely designed in India at Trouve’s R&D facility in Bangalore.

Trouve Motor’s first Hyper Maxi Scooter H2…

Okinawa Autotech

Okinawa Autotech has launched two new state-of-the-art experience centres, Okinawa Galaxy, in Nerul, Maharashtra, and Ahmedabad, Gujrat. The company has planned to open 200 stores in the country. Okinawa Galaxy stores will offer an exclusive view and a chance to closely examine crucial components such as the battery, motor, and chassis in greater detail. The highlight of these state-of-the-art experience centers is the customization zone, where customers can revamp their chosen EV with bespoke details.

A view of a store of Okinawa Autotech…

AMO Mobility Solutions

AMO Mobility Solutions, a Delhi NCR-Noida-based electric two-wheeler manufacturer, by the brand name AMO Electric Bikes, envisions a quantum leap in its dealership network, working towards transforming electric mobility into mass mobility. With more than 180+ dealerships now spread across India, the company is scaling up operations offering reliable and affordable electric scooters in both registered and non-registered categories. AMO Mobility’s 2-wheelers’ product line includes Jaunty Plus, Jaunty Pro, Jaunty, Inspirer and Feisty EV. Having established a strong presence in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the company has its plan in place to register its move into Maharashtra, Haryana, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, West Bengal, and Jharkhand.

AMO is planning to add more vehicles in its existing line of products…

Ather Energy

Ather Energy is India’s foremost electric two-wheeler brand, founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta, and Swapnil Jain. In 2018, Ather Energy launched India’s first intelligent, electric scooter – Ather 450, followed by their flagship offering Ather 450X in 2020.

Ather 450X includes an LCD display for everything a rider needs to see during ride – from navigation to incoming calls to nearest charging points…

RevFin Services

RevFin Services – a leading EV financing organisation that eases accessibility to EVs and adoption for under-banked & underserved, enabling micro-entrepreneurism.  RevFin is financing electric vehicles in semi-urban areas, mainly in tier 3 and tier 4 towns having presence in 19 states – including, major operations across UP, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi NCR, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.

RevFin and Hero Electric have inked an agreement to jointly finance and lease 2,50,000 electric twowheelers over the next
three years…

Perspectives from a few EV business (related) start-ups

Revealing their opinions and plans, Ketan Mehta, Founder & CEO, HOP Electric Mobility, said, “Investing in EV mobility is becoming the go-to choice in India, especially because people are consciously making eco-friendly and sustainable choices. At HOP Electric, we aspire to make the entire EV ecosystem more inclusive, convenient, and cost-efficient so that everyone can become a part of this energy mobility revolution. The GoI’s ambitious INR 26,058 crore PLI scheme for Auto under the New Non-Automotive Investor (OEM) category has come as a welcome initiative to bolster India’s manufacturing capacities. Under this mandate, we will be investing more than INR 2,000 crore in India in the next five years to boost HOP Electric’s chances of becoming a global energy mobility pioneer.”

Focusing on the growing Indian EV market, Sameer Aggarwal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RevFin Services said, “The year 2022 has witnessed an optimistic evolution of EVs with the strong push from the government and the excitement towards EVs is growing not only in the private sector but also among the consumers across all cities. With the support from the govt. of India and its policies, the electric three-wheeler transport category has emerged as the leader in terms of EV registrations, with 9.2 Lakh EVs registered. With the increasing pollution and initiatives by the central and state government in terms of battery safety, charging infrastructure and EVs, the Indian EV market, valued at $3.21 billion in 2022, is expected to grow to $113.99 billion by 2029, at a compound annual growth rate of 66.52%, according to a Fortune Business Insights report. India has great potential to not only electrify its vehicles but also to become the world’s leading EV manufacturer, creating a significant amount of employment opportunities and boosting the GDP. The most critical challenge in this journey has been the lack of financing options for commercial drivers. In the coming years, EV financing will be the most important enabler of EV adoption.”

Describing his view, Rajat Verma, CEO & Founder, Lohum Cleantech, said, “The outlook on the EV sector is positive, and we will be seeing growth in scale and quality simultaneously. Last year we saw a significant level of growth, which is set to continue due to more efficient technologies, comprehensive EPR and BWMR implementation, and the continual growth of EV charging infrastructure. As India’s potential cell production capacity becomes clearer, the Fame-2 scheme receives extension, and circular economy policies take shape, we will see a pathway open up to indigenize the supply chain with efforts from leaders who have a clear mission backed by the relevant credentials.”

By P. K. Chatterjee (PK)

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