HomeBUISNESS NEWSEXCLUSIVE: Obstacles and opportunities for Electric Vehicle owners and manufacturers in India...

EXCLUSIVE: Obstacles and opportunities for Electric Vehicle owners and manufacturers in India | Electric Vehicles News


The rapid increase in fuel prices in recent times and several initiatives to promote a transition away from fossil fuel vehicles have turbocharged the electric vehicles (EV) sector in the past year in India. Vehicle sales have ramped up significantly across multiple auto segments, posting triple digit growth rates. This transition towards electric vehicles still poses many challenges to adoption among consumers while on the flip side, the scale of the opportunity in terms of creating infrastructure to support EVs remains immense. Let us understand some of the various obstacles and opportunities that come alongside the adoption and development of EV infrastructure.  

Challenges in owning an EV

For EV users, there remain several challenges to owning and using an EV ranging including finding charging stations, especially accompanied with parking spots where the vehicles can stay while charging, standardization of EV charging technologies (especially fast charging in two wheelers), and the gaps in safety highlighted by some of the fire incidents in recent months. 

The MoS for Heavy Industry recently reported in Parliament that close to 1.4Mn EVs are today plying on Indian roads. While the numbers have risen significantly, there are still major challenges in terms of availability of public charging infrastructure as well as adequate parking spots where EVs can be parked while charging. Further issues exist in terms of standardisation of two wheeler fast charging with no global standard that can be adapted and the need for a local standard to be developed.

As EV ownership surges, range anxiety will remain a concern in long haul travel with inadequate charging infrastructure in place to support long travel along highways and across the country. Within cities, the central government has come up with guidelines for roll-out of charging infrastructure in residential premises. However, the roll-out and guidelines available are uneven within the various states and municipalities.

A further issue going forward will be the gap between the demand on electricity for charging vis a vis the supply infrastructure currently in place. The lack of adequate visibility on power load through the day and in different parts of the city will constrain the ability to provide adequate charging infrastructure and ensure alignment between charging demand and power supply. This can impact the experience for EV owners and pose a challenge on more rapid adoption. 

EV Owning Opportunities

On the flip side, the rise in fuel prices and the increased awareness of climate change, especially in cities evident via extreme heat and air pollution, are big drivers for EV demand. The success of FAME I and FAME II have also contributed to bridging the gap in prices between EV and ICE engine vehicles especially in categories like two-wheelers, accelerating EV adoption. The Central Government and several State Governments have been proactive in supporting this adoption and facilitating public EV charging infrastructure in public spaces apart from residential spaces. With improved safety standards as the industry matures, better regulation, and improvements in charging infrastructure, the massive opportunity to shift to clean and green mobility can be realised in this decade.

Conclusion

While EV adoption and ownership still faces significant barriers, there have been major efforts by both the Government and industry players to break through them and accelerate the adoption of EVs. Availability of EV Charging infrastructure everywhere is the most prominent gap that will need to be addressed in ensuring the EV ownership experience is smooth and drives higher adoption going forward. With improvements in charging infrastructure along with better products and greater standardisation, the emergence of EVs as the most cost effective and sustainable alternative for mass and personal transportation across the country is here to stay.

This article is authored by ChargeEZ, a destination EV charging platform. All views are personal. 



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