Economic Survey on electric vehicles

Access to fast charging facilities must be fostered to increase the 0.06% market share of electric vehicles in India, compared to 2% in China and 39% in Norway, according to the Economic Survey 2019.

Current Scenario

FAME India Phase II has been launched, with effect from April 1, 2019, with a total outlay of 10,000 Crore over the period of three years. Emphasis in this phase is on electrification of public transportation.

The Economic Survey shows how different States are working towards EVs development -- Andhra Pradesh has set a target of 10 lakh EVs by 2024 while Kerala has set a target of 10 lakh EVs by 2022. Maharashtra has announced its draft EV Policy, 2018 to increase the number of registered EVs in the state to 5 lakh. Telangana has targeted 100% electric buses for intracity, intercity and interstate transport for its state transport corporation. Uttarakhand’s EV policy has focused on the manufacturing of EVs in the state with incentives for manufacturers of EVs in the MSME sector.

Two Wheeler sales exceed car sales 

The document mentions that in India, electric two wheelers have been the major part of EV sales with sales of around 54,800 in 2018. Compared to this, sales of electric cars have been only around 2000 in 2017.

Uttar Pradesh records highest EV sales

According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), Uttar Pradesh topped the list of the states with highest EV sales of around 6878 units in 2017-18, followed by Haryana at 6,307 units and Gujarat at 6,010 electric vehicles. Maharashtra reported sales of around 4,865 EV units, while West Bengal came in fifth with sales of 4,706 units, says the survey.

Availability of chargers

It said that the market share of EVs is positively related to the availability of chargers and a larger availability of chargers corresponds to a greater adoption of EVs. The market share of EVs increases with increasing availability of charging infrastructure. This is primarily due to the limited driving range of batteries in the EVs. It, therefore, becomes important that adequate charging stations are made available throughout the road networks. In India, the limited availability of charging infrastructure seems to be a major impediment to increased adoption of EVs.

Time-consuming 

Another major impediment, the survey talks about, is that of time taken for completely charging EVs, compared to conventional vehicles. Even fast chargers can take around half an hour to charge an electric car while slow chargers could take even 8 hours. It is, therefore, an important policy issue to come up with universal charging standards for the country as a whole to enable increased investment in creation of such infrastructure.

Roll out awareness

It is equally important to provide information on public chargers to the users of EVs through online maps and other means such as physical signage. This will encourage increased ease of adoption of EVs. Also, since the battery is the heart of any EV, development of appropriate battery technologies that can function efficiently in the high temperature conditions in India need to be given utmost importance, the document said.

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