Accelerating Transport Electrification in India by 2030
Report by Climate Trends and JMK Research
India, which overtook Germany to become the fourth largest automotive market in May 2022, is embracing the e-mobility revolution and taking concrete action to electrify its transport sector, particularly road. The flagship scheme Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) II has provided the much needed impetus to electric vehicle sales in the country. State governments, too, have made noteworthy progress in establishing a supportive policy landscape with close to 25 states having notified or draft EV policies, focusing on demand and supply side incentives to accelerate sales, manufacturing, infrastructure and investments.
These efforts have yielded good results, with EV sales surging 163% in 2021, a three-fold increase from the previous year. While the sales of electric two-wheelers (E2W) in overall two-wheeler sales have already reached more than 3%, the share of registered electric three-wheelers (E3W) in total three-wheeler sales have surpassed 50%. The trend is forecast to keep pace with the current growth with a projected CAGR of 49.79%, leading to annual sales of 191.5 lakh EVs by FY 2030 (as per JMK Estimates). E-two wheelers alone will account for more than 80% of total EV sales by FY 2030. The lowered upfront costs, their uptake in the delivery segment, and the continued national and state-level subsidies are the likely factors contributing to these sales.
While India’s initial journey towards e-mobility has been encouraging, the current rate of growth of EV sales shows that India is projected to witness sales of 5 crore EVs by FY 2030. However, a report by Government of India’s think tank NITI Aayog, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Initiative (RMI) India, analyses that if FAME II and other measures are successful, India could realize EV sales penetration of 30% of private cars, 70% of commercial cars, 40% of buses and 80% of two and three- wheelers by 2030. These figures have often been quoted by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, and considered synonymous with a national vision. When this is converted to absolute numbers, it amounts to 8 crore EVs by 2030. This shows that at the current growth rates, India may not realise these EV sales penetrations, indicating the need for more policy and industry action. India could be 40% behind this vision. Moreover, the required charging infrastructure, in terms of public and semi-public charging stations, to support 8 crore EVs, is close to 39 lakh. Currently, the number of charging stations are too less, of the order of approximately 32 EVs per charging station in India. There has been little movement on establishing charging stations under the FAME schemes, and there is not enough focus on this for the future. For example, not more than 3 or 4 states in India have announced any defined targets in terms of the number of charging stations to be established by their respective policy periods. The targets for EV adoption under different state EV policies are not well aligned with the sales forecast envisaged by Niti Aayog, they have varying timelines and with different numbers of EVs, some states with percentage of new vehicle registrations to be EVs and others with absolute number of EVs to be added on roads.
In order to improve India’s chances of meeting these sales projections by 2030, this report makes the following recommendations:
- Targets and incentives across all the State EV Policies should be consistent with the national EV sales projections and incentives.
- Focus on high-visibility cases of fleet for 100% conversion to electric, such as government fleets and vehicle aggregator fleets.
- Define clear targets for charging stations that pave the way for establishment of charging stations in different places – petrol pumps, malls, highways, workplaces, residential apartments; capping rental costs for public charging stations; and fixing some percentage of home and workplace charging as EV ready.
- Financing by Banks/State Governments/NBFCs should push for inclusion of EVs under priority sector lending, opening of special concessional credit lines for EVs, and tax rebates on EVs.
- Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) adoption to be made mandatory, at least by some percentage, for commercial and government fleets.
It is therefore required that the industry and central and state governments need to bring in key resources, technology, financing, and incentives together to create a self-sustaining EV ecosystem in the country. The future looks promising indeed for the EV sector in India on the back of strong EV sales and accompanying charging infrastructure in the next 7-8 years.
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