The Automotive Industry is presently experiencing, or are about to encounter an electric revolution in many countries around the world. Many nations are either producing electric vehicles on their own or are importing EVs parts and then assembling in the country. China is the largest market when it comes to the manufacturing of electric vehicle components. India is also on the track to bring complete E-Mobility by 2030. Till now, the EV Industry in India imports a large percentage of the EV parts from China and assembles them locally. But the Indian Government wants the Automobile Industry to self-manufacture and produce electric vehicles. But there are several factors which are restricting India to become self-reliant (Aatm Nirbhar) in electric mobility.
The problem of manufacturing powerful batteries
A battery pack and the electronic assembly is approximately 50-60% of an electric vehicle. Also, the battery assembly is the most expensive component in an EV. India imports the battery and other parts from China and then assembles it locally. But why can’t India manufacture and produce powerful batteries locally? The reason is insufficient demand-supply of electric vehicles. Till present, the Indian automotive industry is unable to influence the citizens to opt for an electric vehicle rather than combustion engine vehicles. The people are not ready to make a complete shift from traditional combustion engine cars to EVs. There are numerous reasons for it. First of all, EVs are more expensive, have less range in a single charge, longer charge time, etc.
The batteries are either made up of lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride. Our country is still not able to figure out ways to manufacture these batteries in the budget. Also, the OEMs are not sure about investing in big battery companies because of uncertainty in Indian E-Mobility. Now, after the unfortunate pandemic, India may reduce or completely stop the import from China. It may encourage the Indian manufacturers to produce the batteries and the powertrains locally. But all of this is only possible when there will be more consumer demands. To increase consumer demands, the Electric Vehicle Industry needs to work on several other areas, such as infrastructure, for the all-around economic growth.
Lack of advancement in EV infrastructure
The second biggest factor restricting India from becoming self-reliant in Electric Mobility is the lack of infrastructure advancement. Although the Indian electric vehicle industry has started to roll out a few EVs in the past, it hasn’t seen a great response. There are several reasons for it. Firstly, EVs are more expensive than combustion engine vehicles. Secondly, it has a lower range in one single charge and takes a longer duration to recharge the depleted battery. The most important reason is the absence of E-Mobility infrastructure around the nation. Not only regular charging stations but also DC fast-charging stations, and Battery Swapping Stations will help reduce the charging time.
Also, electricity is costly in most parts of the country, which results in a lack of development of new charging points for the EVs. Most parts of the nation do not have 24/7 electricity supply, which restricts the industry from taking further steps in the development field. We need to start thinking to see the future perspective. When electric vehicles become the primary means of transportation, there will be an exponential increase in demand for non-renewable resources. It will result in depletion of the resources in the future, hence the increase in the prices of electricity.
These are some of the major factors restricting India from becoming self-reliant (Aatm Nirbhar) in E-Mobility. Although the Government is promoting the Make in India Movement, very few efforts can be seen from their side to make India independent in E-Mobility. In early 2020, our Finance Minister, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, announced an increase in import duty on EV components. It will encourage the Indian EV industry to start manufacturing locally. But, apart from this, a strong financial and fundamental support is required from the Indian Government. A strong foundation is necessary for battery manufacturing, charging supplies, and other power infrastructures.
In the coming years, the electric vehicle will become the necessity to battle an increase in pollution in the nation. Therefore, future proof and well-structured plans are required for the overall development of the entire E-Mobility ecosystem.