Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option…they will become a necessity…” Fujio Cho, Ex Honorary Chairman of Toyota Motors.
Going a step further towards the dream of electric mobility, the coming decade is expected to be the decade of electric cars. The rise of electric vehicles is inevitable around the world and India alike. Electric vehicles sales, excluding e- rickshaws, grew by 20 per cent in India in 2019-20. Electric Vehicles promise zero tail pipe emissions and a reduction in air pollution in cities. This article vividly describes the existence and latest trends of electric vehicles in India.
Electric traction is one of the most promising technologies that can lead to significant improvements in vehicle performance, energy utilization efficiency and reducing emission. An Electric Vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. It has the advantage of high performance, high fuel efficiency, very low emissions and long operating range. An electric vehicle may be powered through a collector system by electricity from off-vehicle sources, or may be self-contained with a battery, solar panels or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity. EVs first came into existence in the mid-19th century.
Around the world
Electric car deployment has been growing rapidly over the past ten years, with the global stock of electric passenger cars passing 5 million in 2018, an increase of 63% from the previous year. Around 45% of electric cars on the road in 2018 were in China – a total of 2.3 million – compared to 39% in 2017. In comparison, Europe accounted for 24% of the global fleet, and the United States 22%.
China has the largest number of electric car sales worldwide, followed by Europe and the United States. Ford Mustang-inspired electric SUV, Mach E can run up to 119 km with 10 minutes charging, reveals the new test data of Ford Motor Company.
Existence in India
Electric vehicles in India have opened ample business opportunities for automobile companies within the country – as well as across the globe. India has great expectations of achieving a high level of penetration in E-mobility by 2030.
The reason is not very surprising; the alarming levels of pollution indices that keep on rising and the colossal dollars, the country must pay for annual crude oil imports. In December 2017, New Delhi was in a state of red alert. If India successfully manages to achieve this target by 2030, it can save about 1 Giga Tonne of emissions.
Start-ups that have been leading the adoption of electric mobility in India are now running out of road due to lack of financial support amidst this long ongoing lockdown.
Challenges to be faced
There are many challenges to be faced while implementing the electric vehicles in India. The main challenges are:
Car Prices: Electric car prices are higher than petrol or diesel-fuelled cars.
The average cost of electric cars in India is around INR 13 Lakh, much higher than the average INR 5 Lakh for economical cars run on traditional fuel.
The price of electric scooters and motorcycles in India is between the price range of INR 70K – INR 1.25 Lakh, as compared to INR 30K – INR 40K cost range of Internal Combustion Engine bikes and even lower for scooters.
If there were a greater demand for EVs, battery sales volumes would drive down the price, there is a good chance that technology will allow future batteries to be cheaper, bringing the price of battery-powered vehicles down. Prices are likely to decrease as the production volume increase and battery technology continues to mature.
Charging Infrastructure: India was reported to have 650 charging stations in 2018, whereas China had over 456K charging points in the same year. It was raised to 13,000 in July 2019, the number is constantly growing. However, they are not evenly distributed. The average distance between two electric car charge points is about 3.8 miles and some places have a gap of up to 47 miles.
In addition to charging points, the lack of private parking spaces is also noted. According to auto giant Maruti Suzuki’s research, 60% of Indian customers don’t have their own parking space. “There is no way they can charge the vehicle, therefore, it’s not easy to adopt to EV”
FAME Policy Flip-Flops: While no one doubts that the Indian government is doing all it can to push EVs, the Faster Adoption and Manufacture Of (Hybrid) Electric Vehicles (FAME) policy has been criticised by the industry in the past. The government had initially focused on vehicle standardisation with FAME, which was sidelined for an emphasis on manufacturing. At the moment, the government is busy drafting an EV charging infrastructure framework. The government is also planning to tax non-electric vehicles heavier even if the sales of electric vehicles might not justify such a forced transition. And this has put under pressure on automobile original equipment manufacturers.
Energy from grid
In India electricity is mainly produced by burning coal, which produces a great amount of greenhouse emissions. If smart charging of BEVs occur, it helps in managing the evening ramping requirements, system peak demand and lower the cost of RE grid integration. When electric vehicles are charging from grid then that mode of operation is known as grid to Vehicles (G2V) and vice versa it is known as vehicle to grid (V2G). The survey was done on an Odhpura 132 kV substation located at Hathras district, Uttar Pradesh, India. The variations of demand of a substation during 24 hours are clearly seen. At 5 a.m. the substation has a minimum demand of 18.86 MW, whereas the peak demand of 48.99 MW occurs at 1 PM. There is a great difference in demand between peak team and off-peak time. Therefore, it is proposed that the EVs are fully charged during off-peak time and it supplies back to the grid during peak time.
Top electric vehicles in 2020
Electric cars have been around for a while now. Tata Nexon EV, MG ZS EV and the Mahindra eVerito were launched within a month. That has expanded the choice for electric car lovers that Indian market has
Hero Electric, a part of Hero Group, launced electric vehicles in the country. The company has been among the front runners in the electric vehicle segment. Across its ER series (E2 series and E5 series), Hero electric rolls out a range of Optima, Nyx, Flash and Photon electric scooters.
Tata Motors has lately unveiled the Nexon in electric version as well it has been introduced with ZIPTRON technology. The company will launch the Nexon EV in a price of Rs. 15-17 lakhs. It has also supplied Tata Tigor in electric version to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
Ather Energy launched its Ather 450 & Ather 340 electric scooter models in India last year that have been primarily designed for city usage. Ather Energy is also offering Ather One plan that includes free access to public and home charging, breakdown assistance as well as unlimited data service among others.
Mahindra spearheaded with its very first and much famous Reva electric car. Over the years the company offers a range of electric vans, electric autos and e-three wheelers like Mahindra E2o, Mahindra eAlfa Mini, Mahindra eSupro, Mahindra Treo and Mahindra eVerito.
Lohia Auto offers a range of electric scooters, electric three wheelers as well as e-autos in the country. Comfort E- Auto HS by Lohia Auto was launched at Delhi Auto Expo in 2018 that offers a load capacity of 40 kg and offers a seating for five people including the driver.
Rolling out electric scooters in India, Twenty Two Motors tied up with Taiwanese electric two-wheeler manufacturer Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) is to expand its horizons in the country. They are developing solutions across fast charging, standard charging to battery swapping.
Among the leaders in electric buses segment, Olectra BYD claims to sell over 100 electric vehicles in the country across various state transport undertakings. Nearly 40 electric buses spanning 12m in length deployed by Telegana State Road Transport Corporation have been supplied by Olectra BYD.
Hyundai Kona Electric:
Versatile and powerful, the Hyundai KONA Electric is the All-Electric SUV in India with ARAI certified range of 452 km. Its power packed performance provides a thrilling driving experience with high acceleration over long distances. The Kona is equipped with lithium-ion polymer battery for excellent charging and discharging efficiency, designed for Indian conditions.
Ashok Leyland, the fourth largest bus maker in the world, unveiled its first electric bus Circuit in 2016. The company has tied up with sun mobility to enhance its expertise in electric vehicle domain and introduce battery swapping in electric buses.
MG Motor has introduced its MG ZS electric car. The MG ZS offers ARAI certified range of 340 kms. It can be charged via two options – using normal 15 A AC charger in about 6-8 hours and 50 kW DC charger that can charge the vehicle up to 80% in less than an hour.
Electric vehicles could be a better alternative to fuel-based automobiles to mitigate air pollution. The government target is to switch to E-vehicles in next 10 years, by Niti Aayog, only electric vehicles after 2030.
By 2030, the government aims to make India a 100-per cent electric-vehicle nation, it has proposed that two-wheelers below the engine capacity of 150cc sold in the country after March 31, 2025, and three-wheelers sold after March 31, 2023, should be EVs.
BIS Research says the EV market is anticipated to grow at a compounded annual rate of 43.1%, charging infrastructure at 42.4 % and the battery market at 60.1 % during the period from 2019 to 2030.
The EV segment offers a huge business potential for Indian manufacturers across the value chain, which includes manufacturers, traders as well as service providers. Hybrid and plug-in vehicles can help increase energy security, lower fuel costs and reduce emissions. In the new future, e-mobility in India would not be something of luxury but it would be something necessary for the survival because the pollution level is alarming, and the only solution is the green sources and transmission of energy. Hence, EVs are inevitable, so it is better to plan and organize about how the developments are going to occur rather than dodging the change.
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world…”
Images provided by authors.
second year B.E degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering
Kongu Engineering College (Autonomous), Affiliated to Anna University, India.
Dr. N. Kumarappan,
Prof. Annamalai University and Chair IEEE Madras section.