03 February 2022
The long-awaited switch to Electric Vehicles (“EV”) in India is now taking off. With solid increase in demand and on-the-ground traction, India's EV goals achieved significant traction in 2021. The growing focus on EV is mostly due to two factors: combating the rising threat of air pollution and reducing India's overdependence on crude oil imports.
India is one of the world’s largest importers of fossil fuels, with crude oil imports totaling USD $125 billion (or INR 8,800,000 million) in FY 2019–20, up 42 percent from the previous year, and these imports are forecast to reach three-year highs in 2020. According to the 2020 World Air Quality Report , 22 Indian cities are among the 30 most polluted cities in the world, with transportation being the primary source of 2.5-micron particulate matter, which causes lung and respiratory problems. Therefore the need for shifting to vehicles that curb the pollution levels and over reliance on crude oil based sources of fuel becomes imperative.
India’s E-mobility initiatives for pollution-free commercial and private transportation have prompted many established vehicle manufacturers and new entrants to begin manufacturing the e-vehicles in the last mile connectivity and bulk short/long distance transportation space.
Startups are playing a pivotal role in the evolving electric mobility space in India. Charging infrastructure and mobility services are the key opportunity areas for startups with the emergence of various new business models.
In addition to this, they are also creating new business opportunities for digital technologies like charging location finders and reservation applications, online payments and ride-sharing services.
From a commercial point of view the Government aims to provide support to suppliers/manufacturers with regards to domestic R&D, tax savings, raw material and import subsidies. Government has set a target of EV making up to 30% of new sales of cars and two-wheelers by 2030. Since there exists no single policy or rule which will help make the shift to EV, it has come up with initiatives like
The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 is a National Mission plan that provides the vision and strategy for the country's rapid adoption of electric cars and manufacturing. This strategy was created to improve national fuel security, offer inexpensive and environmentally friendly transportation, and help India's automobile sector attain global manufacturing leadership. To implement this the Government introduced FAME (defined below) under the umbrella of NEMMP. FAME was launched in two phases, with the second phase currently ongoing. FAME was introduced for manufacturing EV and hybrid EV (hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and an electric motor).
I. FAME- In 2015, the Ministry of Heavy Industries launched the Faster Use and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) Scheme to encourage the adoption of electric/ hybrid vehicles (xEVs) in India as part of the NEMMP 2020. The scheme's Phase 1 was accessible through March 31, 2019. FAME had an initial budget of INR 8950 million and offered a one-third reduction on the difference in price between an electric car and a similar gasoline vehicle in cities with populations of more than 1 million people.
II. FAME II - It came into effect on April 1, 2019 for a three-year period. FAME II has a budget of INR 100,000 million. Subsidies for electric buses, four-wheeled passenger vehicles (including powerful hybrids), three-wheeled vehicles, and two-wheeled vehicles are planned for this phase.
This strategy also supports the goal of having at least one charging station in every 3 km x 3 km grid in the major cities, other cities with over a million people, smart cities, and cities in mountainous states. In addition, every 25 kilometres on highways, charging stations will be installed. The GST on the purchase of a BEV (Battery operated EV) was also reduced from 28% to 12%, with the objective of having EVs account for 30% of all vehicles by 2030.
The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) plan offers local producers with supply-side incentives based on incremental revenue. Foreign corporations are encouraged to open factories in India, while domestic companies are urged to expand or open new factories. Eligible enterprises received a 4–6% incentive on increased sales (over the base year of 2019–2020) for a period of 5 years after the base year. In November 2020, it was extended to automobile and auto components, and advanced chemistry cell (ACC) battery manufacturing
In February 2021, the Union Budget unveiled the Vehicle Scrappage Policy. It aims to reduce India's oil imports by increasing the deployment of new fuel-efficient vehicles; to reduce environmental and noise pollution by removing old, unsafe, and unreliable vehicles; and to increase the availability of low-cost recycled inputs for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) such as plastic, steel, aluminium, steel, rubber, and electronics.
It will develop and implement strategies for transformational mobility as well as Phased Manufacturing Programs (“PMP”) for electric vehicles, electric vehicle components, and batteries, with an emphasis on local production throughout the EV supply chain, including battery and cell manufacture. PMP is valid for 5 years from 2019 till 2024. The Mission will finalise the details of the value addition that can be accomplished with each level of localization, along with a defined Make in India plan for electric vehicle components and batteries. It will combine diverse initiatives to revolutionise mobility in India, the Mission would collaborate with key stakeholders in Ministries/Departments and states.
PMP is to support setting up of large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing Giga plants in India. The assembly plants are set up in 2019-20, followed by integrated cell manufacturing by 2021-22.
States EV Policy
Around 50% of states have approved/notified dedicated EV policies to promote adoption of electric vehicles. Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka have emerged as the top three states in terms of EV registration.
Startups pioneering in the EV mobility space
Some of the Top startups in the EV mobility space are - Ather Energy, Yulu, Tork Motors, DOT
Startups are also being offered various benefits such as mentorship from industry experts, seed investment led by GrowX ventures and pilot opportunities from companies like Exide, TATA, and Swiggy, who are partners at the Huddle - GrowX EV accelerator.
The budget for 2022–23 offers the EV industry a considerable boost. The battery swapping policy, as well as the recognition of battery or energy as a service, will aid in the development of EV infrastructure and the usage of EVs in public transit. The policy for battery swapping will be developed by the government in the near future.
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