In the ever-developing story of India's electric vehicle (EV) industry, a narrative of a transformed approach is gradually unfolding. Instead of relying on subsidies, the industry is now focusing on using new and creative ideas to grow.
This paradigm shift holds immense importance for India's energy security, environmental sustainability and its promises to the world. This change isn't just about the EV industry itself but also about how India ensures its energy security and takes care of the environment.
As a nation striving for sustainable development, it's essential that we reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate the environmental impact of transportation. However, the journey towards sustainability requires a shift that transcends mere policy interventions- it calls for innovation to take the lead.
The Indian government's aspirations to transition to electric mobility are not mere conjectures; they are solidified targets. Aiming for about 100 per cent transition to electric two-wheelers within the next five to seven years and establishing India as an EV manufacturing hub signifies a bold step towards a greener future.
The goals set by the government, such as achieving 70 per cent EV sales penetration for commercial cars, 30 per cent for private cars, 40 per cent for buses and a staggering 80 per cent for two- and three-wheelers by 2030, are not just numbers on paper. If realised, they could result in a net reduction of 14 exajoules of energy and an impressive 846 million tons of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of these deployed vehicles.
The transformational impact becomes even more evident when we consider the cumulative savings. The EVs sold until 2030 could collectively save a substantial 474 million tons of oil equivalent over their lifetime, an asset valued at $207.33 billion. This is a leap towards fulfilling our global commitments to curbing carbon emissions and embracing cleaner sources of energy and transportation. It's a resounding testament to the power of innovation in reshaping industries and reshaping the world.
However, while government support in the form of subsidies, taxes and policy reforms is instrumental, it can only propel us so far. The responsibility of propelling this transition rests on the shoulders of the industry itself.
Focusing On Innovation
Innovation must emerge as the driving force. It's not just about manufacturing electric vehicles; it's about manufacturing a sustainable future.
To do so the industry must invest strategically, particularly in battery manufacturing—the linchpin of electric mobility. The projected growth of the EV battery market at a staggering CAGR of 30 per cent underscores the urgency of this investment.
However, the key lies in diversification and innovation, transcending a dependency on lithium batteries alone. The future demands batteries that are not just efficient but also eco-friendly and resource-efficient.
A critical facet of this journey is shedding the dependence on rare earth magnets. Currently imported, these magnets drive various components of EVs.
Innovation beckons us to rethink our strategies—to make batteries lighter and explore alternatives to rare earth magnets. By doing so, we can drastically reduce the carbon footprint associated with the manufacturing process and elevate our industry's sustainability quotient.
Gearing For Change
The global automobile industry is now undergoing a noticeable transition as it works to adopt alternate and more energy-efficient options. India is also making a concerted effort to convert to electric vehicles.
Factors such as the burden of oil imports, escalating pollution levels, the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on price inflation and international commitments to counter global climate change are all pivotal drivers behind India's initiatives to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility.
This acceleration is driven by both the need to address environmental concerns and the growing demand among consumers. Anticipated to become the third-largest automotive market in terms of volume by 2030, India is positioned to play a crucial role in this transition.
Given the substantial size of the domestic market, the continued reliance on traditional fuel-intensive transportation methods is no longer sustainable. The transition from a subsidy-driven industry to an innovation-driven one is a journey that promises to redefine the paradigms of the Indian EV industry.
It is not just about building vehicles; it's about building a legacy that resonates with India's commitment to energy security, environmental sustainability and global leadership. It's time to drive forward, not just with vehicles but with ideas and innovations that fuel progress and lead us into a brighter and cleaner future.
- Pragya Goyal, co-founder and CEO at Vegh Automobiles