In a bid to boost electric vehicles in India, the government is planning to introduce another the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for batteries in order to reduce the price of storage. In May 2021, the government introduced the PLI scheme for advanced chemistry cell (ACC) battery storage at an outlay of ₹18,000 crore. Besides, the centre also launched a PLI scheme for the automobile industry and auto components at an outlay of ₹25,938 crore to to boost EV adoption in the country . 

"We have come out with the production-linked incentive for manufacturing. We are going to come out with a production-linked incentive for batteries. We need to reduce the price of storage. The key to energy transition is storage," says R K Singh, Union Minister of Power. He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the EV dashboard by the OMI Foundation on Monday.

"Till now the total manufacturing capacity of batteries in the world was just about 4-5 gigawatts. It has recently started going up. And that’s why the price of storage was high... The price of storage will come down only if you add volumes," says Singh.

According to Singh, once the price of storage comes down, diesel and petrol SUVs (sports utility vehicles) will be history. Singh says that in order to achieve India’s target to reduce carbon emissions, the transition to EVs is important.

"For us as a country, switching to electric mobility is of absolute importance. We have ambitions of emerging as a great power. We have already emerged as a great power, but we want to move up from the fifth largest economy to the third largest economy and we also want to increase our heft so far as strategic affairs are concerned," says Singh.

Singh also urged the industry to explore other chemistries for battery storage. Acknowledging the dearth of lithium reserves globally, Singh says that alternate chemistries will aid in addressing supply chain concerns. “The reserves of lithium are limited around the world. And 80% of those reserves are tied up by only one country. 88% of lithium processing is located in one country. ...What needs to be done is to shift from lithium to other chemistries. Alternate chemistry is absolutely essential. Once you have alternate chemistries, you have security of the supply chain,” he says.

On Monday, OMI Foundation, a non-profit think tank by Ola Mobility Institute, unveiled the EV-Ready India dashboard. According to OMI Foundation, the EV-Ready India dashboard forecasts a 45.5% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) growth between CY2022 and CY2030, increasing from annual sales of 6,90,550 electric two-wheelers (E2Ws) in 2022 to 1,39,36,691 E2Ws in 2030.

“India’s leadership in electric vehicles is of critical importance. Our economy needs to be energy-independent of fossil fuels. India is already on the path to being EV-ready and leading the conversation on climate action for the transport sector,” says Singh.

“We are confident that India will surpass its target of 50% energy production from non-fossil fuels by 2030. EVs are critical for this journey both from an energy dependence and environmental standpoint and as the number of EVs grows on the roads, we will see India emerging as a leader in climate change. Another important step towards making EVs mainstream is expanding the number of charging stations, which already is at 10,000 currently. The EV-Ready India Dashboard is a fantastic initiative to update us on the progress of EV deployments, and other electric mobility trends,” he adds.

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