An increasing government focus on EVs as the primary technology pathway for future mobility has been bolstered by industry initiatives. Established and new industry players in automotive, charging infrastructure, batteries and mobility services have been making investments and forging partnerships to develop and test new products and business models. Following section highlights some of the key trends related to industry initiatives in the EV space.
According to market estimates, in financial year 2018 electric two-wheeler sales almost doubled to 54,800 compared to the previous financial year. Electric two- wheelers have been leading the EV market; estimates suggest they account for 98% of the country’s EV sales. Manufacturers, established and new, continue to/are starting to invest in the Indian EV market through fund infusion, investments in start-ups and expansion plans. Companies are designing and testing products suitable for the Indian market with a key focus on electric two- wheelers and three-wheelers. OEMs have been forging partnerships with state and city governments such as Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru to augment the public transport system to bolster shared mobility. As recently as March 2019, over 100 companies showcased electric vehicles of all types at the
India E-Vehicle Show.
The Indian government reduced tariffs on imported parts of EVs in January 2019 to boost assembly in India. The automobile industry has indicated that this will trigger investments in critical components. Battery manufacturers have announced major joint venture investments to produce both battery cells and packs in India with an aim to contribute to the ‘Make in India’ drive. Several manufacturers, energy solution providers and start-ups have announced their plans to make lithium-ion batteries in India through
R&D centres and lithium-ion battery manufacturing plants. India is likely to see a surge in new cell manufacturing units in India with key players lining up their long-term plans. Ten companies have come forward to adopt Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) cell chemistry for commercial applications.
Significant investment is being mobilised by the private sector to manufacture and install electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure across India. This includes charging and battery swapping technologies. Both charging and swapping solutions are supported by business model innovation that enables high utilisation of infrastructure. Plans are underway to fuel EVs with clean power, with industry players exploring solar-plus-EV technology in Mumbai and beyond. Moreover, the Indian Railways has announced its intention to allocate space for electric vehicle charging stations at their station parking lots. Railways authorities aim to invite private sector participation by issuing tenders to create this infrastructure. Public sector units in India have signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with aggregators to develop dedicated
EV charging stations. Mobility service providers around the world and in India are testing EV solutions in anticipation of wider-scale deployment. Compelling economics are encouraging aggregators and drivers to act on EVs’ low operating costs, which can offset their capital cost premium. Despite competitive economics, persistent challenges exist including the operational mandates of service vehicles, risk aversion from drivers and fleet operators, and the first cost difference between ICEs and EVs. In order to address some of these challenges and capture the economic advantages of EVs, taxi aggregators and car rental platforms have formed partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture and test fit to purpose vehicles that are successful in Indian road and weather conditions, meet the needs of customers and make a strong business case for drivers and service providers