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Roadblocks for India's Electric Vehicle Industry

Electric cars- A dream that is becoming a reality as several firms courageously debut their EV vehicles, with the majority of them succeeding. The rise of electric cars is unavoidable both globally and in India. While numerous manufacturers have begun rolling out EVs, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed.

Globally, the automobile sector is on the precipice of a paradigm shift. The automobile industry is undergoing major upheaval as a result of four technology-driven trends: electrification, shared mobility, connectivity, and autonomous driving. These shifts will reshape markets and income pools, alter consumer behaviour, and provide new opportunities for competition and collaboration.

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India’s Emerging Situation and Electric Vehicle Prospects:

India’s automobile sector has already begun to feel the consequences of global upheaval. Electrification is the most significant of the four developing trends and has the potential to have a large influence on vehicle OEMs and component makers. India has ambitious aspirations for the country’s growing Electric Vehicles and associated technology. It has issued (and subsequently amended) ultimatums for the ensuing years.

With the increasing growth of India’s automobile market, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are emerging as a viable option for improving air quality, energy security, and economic opportunity. The Indian government understands the critical nature of developing sustainable mobility solutions in order to minimise reliance on imported energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and minimise the negative effects of transportation, such as global warming. India has lofty ambitions to achieve a high level of e-mobility adoption by 2030.

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Barriers for EVs in the Indian market:

The challenges to EV adoption in India may be approached from a variety of angles, including technical constraints, policy impediments, and poor infrastructure.

[1] Market:

1. Vehicle servicing: To properly care for an electric vehicle, a professional technician should be present to repair, maintain, and troubleshoot the vehicle. They must be able to immediately apply their skills to rectify the situation.

2. High capital cost: An electric vehicle’s battery pack is costly, and it will need to be replaced many times during its lifetime. Gasoline-powered automobiles are less expensive than electric ones.

3. Consumer perception: It is critical in gaining new customers and retaining existing ones. Despite the expanding range of electric vehicles on the market, the choice of purchasing an electric vehicle remains restricted and is projected to remain so for the foreseeable future. Thus, the client should be aware of the company’s products via advertising, social media, or another channel.

4. Raw materials for batteries: Batteries’ raw ingredients Lithium, nickel, phosphate and manganese, graphite, and cobalt are all examples of rare earth elements used in EV batteries. Aluminium, copper, and steel are necessary for an internal combustion engine. Platinum, rhodium, and palladium are required to filter hazardous gases in combustion car catalysers. These are all scarce materials, and their availability may be insufficient for battery manufacture. Lithium-ion batteries alone consume 5 million tonnes of nickel per year, which might result in a 10–20 fold increase in lithium and cobalt used in the future.

[2] Technical:

1. Battery life: Typically, electric automobiles are manufactured by replacing the fuel tank and gasoline engine of a normal vehicle with electric motors, batteries, chargers, and controls. Because the batteries in EVs are meant to last a long period, they will eventually fail. At the moment, the majority of manufacturers give an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on their batteries.

2. Driving range: The driving range is often seen as the primary impediment to the adoption of electric vehicles, owing to the fact that EVs have a shorter range than an equivalent ICE car. The range of an electric car on a single charge or full tank is viewed as a key disadvantage in terms of EV adoption in the worldwide market.

3. Charging time: Charging time is inextricably linked to the issue of range. The EV can take up to 8 hours to fully charge from an empty state when utilising a 7 kW charging station with a sluggish charger. The charging time is mostly determined by the battery’s capacity. The larger the capacity of the automobile battery, the longer it takes to recharge it from empty to full.

4. Electric vehicle safety regulations: The electric car must comply with all applicable state and municipal regulations on vehicle safety. Additionally, the batteries must pass testing standards that include overcharge, temperature, short circuit, fire impact, vibration, humidity, and water immersion. These vehicles’ designs should have safety features like collision detection, short circuit detection, and isolation from high voltage lines.

5. Environmental ramifications: While electric cars, in general, do not affect the environment, the components of the batteries are mined or collected from brine in the desert. This extraction has a negligible influence on the environment.

[3] Policy:

1. To accelerate India’s electric car revolution, the government plans to finance the country’s EV charging infrastructure.

2. Additionally, the ministry of electricity recently confirmed that EV charging stations in India do not require a licence to operate, which will help expand the nation’s EV charging station infrastructure.

3. Not only should the government lower the relevant Goods and Service Tax (GST) rate on Li-ion batteries, give incentives and concessions to EV consumers, but it should also give incentives for public transportation to transition to electric vehicles.

[4] Infrastructure:

1. Infrastructure for charging: Improved charging infrastructure is necessary to accommodate an increase in the number of electric cars and, consequently, the demand for electrical energy. Due to a lack of charging infrastructure in India, electric car sales are limited. Chargeable batteries should be valued by electric vehicle manufacturers from a design standpoint, so that discharged batteries may be replaced with fully charged ones. The charging station can arrange to charge their batteries at off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower. 

2. Additionally, there should be an option for setting up a charging station for this car at home, as individuals would have to begin their day by charging their electric car at home. In the lack of residential charging infrastructure, individuals would rather charge their vehicles at work or at a proper charging station where they must stop for two to three hours or more.

What is the next step?

Charging infrastructure and battery manufacturing capacity will take time to develop. However, in the interim, the government should push hybrids and plug-in hybrids in order to establish an enabling ecosystem for consumers of EVs and those responsible for investing in and profiting from the charging infrastructure. As the aforementioned facts and data indicate, E-mobility is a far-fetched idea for the Indian government. If India is serious about completing the objective, it will require a concerted effort on the part of every individual/organization significant to the country.

Finally, In the new future, e-mobility in India will not be a luxury, but a need for existence, since pollution levels continue to rise and the only answer is green energy sources and transmission. Thus, when it comes down to it, EVs are unavoidable; thus, it is preferable to prepare and arrange for how the changes will occur rather than avoiding them. Without a doubt, an integrated policy for the future of transport is necessary, with a particular emphasis on zero-emission transport. However, such a strategy should also include the industry’s financial soundness, government income, and job possibilities for millions. The future of electric transportation is here and will continue to grow and expand in scope.

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