Electric Vehicles or EVs, as they are now commonly referred to, are an important resource for battling pollution and improving the lives and lifescapes of citizens. It is, therefore, good to see the strong and visible focus the Union Budget 2022 puts on enhancing the use and operational availability of EVs in the country. While India’s electric vehicle market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 90 percent to touch USD 150 billion by 2030, it may be safe to say that this market is still in its infancy. With EV sales accounting for barely 1.3 per cent of total vehicle sales in India during last year, the positive policy inputs such as those in the present budget and the shift to shared, electric, and connected mobility could help the country immensely in reducing harmful polluting emissions.
Mr. Amit Kumar, ED & CEO, Benling India
The Union budget 2022 has proposed some very assertive measures which will promote the market for EVs across small towns and cities. There is an impactful thrust towards renewable energy incentives with an increased focus on reducing infrastructural waste for a greener tomorrow. This shall happen on the back of measures designed to overcome the hesitancy most buyers have when it comes to EVs. For instance, proposals for the furtherance of clean energy and the ‘Gati Shakti’ initiatives are important areas for the commercial EV segment. In fact, the demand incentives provided under FAME II, the launch of various state policies, the incidence of runaway and consistently rising fuel prices, tightening emissions laws, and increasing awareness about environment and its sustainability are few factors making the EV sector attractive to larger automobile players and financial investors.
The sector is also witnessing some clear tech-led trends which will define its contours in the coming years. Smart charging where the infrastructure can manage need based charging and also charge itself will be a boon for countries such as India. Autonomy and self-driving cars have seen some big changes over the past couple of years and some movement can be expected in India as well. Increased bets on heavy-duty fuel cell vehicles should see this tech adoption take off soon too. Another trend is the introduction of EVs in different segments to accommodate consumer lifestyles. Alongside the EV trend is the growing dependence on using technology to enhance user experience and drivability. The movement away from analog indicators, switches and dials has been gradual: flat panel displays replace the variety of analog indicators, and touch screens replace the knobs, switches, dials and buttons. There is now a desire to integrate all these individual displays and touch panels as a contiguous surface. Solutions from innovative companies that do things in a different and better way will be the key to forging ahead. Customers want better, and there is a strong motivation in the industry to meet these expectations.
Following the launch of the FAME India plan, which aims to transition toward e-mobility in the light of expanding international policy commitments and environmental difficulties, the EV market in India has gained substantial momentum. Additionally, India has the world’s largest untapped market, particularly for electric two-wheelers. The automatic route market is likely to gain traction in the next few years due to the fact that 100 percent foreign direct investment is permitted in this sector.
With increasing demand and investments, the requirements for a skilled workforce in the EV sector can only be expected to grow. An early identification and investment from government can ensure timely readiness and help capture the opportunity of green jobs that come along with the EV transition. Facilitating public and private investments into skilling, re-skilling, upskilling; research and development, especially for batteries; and innovation hubs at this stage will help reach the desired levels of preparedness for a just EV transition while ensuring local innovation and technology development.
Government has provided a significant initial push where the leapfrog from ICE vehicles to EVs is just beginning. As the government continues its push and support through enabling policies and budget outlays, it may also need to announce some tough measures like an ICE phaseout timeline, stricter taxation on ICE/ICE fuels, and supply-side mandates.
At present many customers have a fair amount of scepticism about the use and operation of EVs, especially with respect to the battery issues and mileage concerns. Higher costs for EVs owing to battery pricing will have an impact going forward on efforts to encourage buyers of lower-cost vehicles to make the transition from ICE to EV offerings.
The Auto PLI Scheme has set the stage for investments in EV supply chain and production, it has excluded players that do not meet the high company turnover criteria. There is a need to design interventions that spur small and medium players and provide an equal opportunity of availing benefits of government schemes to all players alike. The government will give USD six billion in incentives to companies to locally build both vehicles and batteries will be another boost for creating a significant share for EVs in the Indian automobile market. All in all, though, a great step and service to the cause of clean mobility in India.
About Benling India
Gurugram based Benling India, a 2018 company, manufacturers electric two wheelers both in high & low speeds, in technical collaboration with Japan’s Zhushi Clubs Limited. With around 200 dealerships and 100% localization in manufacturing, its current two-wheeler high speed models are all ARAI/ ICAT certified.
Please visit www.benlingindia.com.