Piyush Goyal, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, says that the world is at the cusp of a revolution in electric mobility, and exhorts the stakeholders in the automobile industry, “to bring this revolution to India,” because, according to Goyal, “when India transforms, it benefits one-fifth of mankind,” and India should build a template in this sector for the globe to adopt.

Highlighting the benefits of electric vehicles, apart from its impact on mitigating climate change, Goyal says that the EV industry has also acted as a great leveller — in both supply and demand aspects of the industry. “Traditionally, this sector has had high-entry barriers, but the world is changing. It may now be the golden era of the electric vehicle mobility ecosystem that is coming out of the shadows of big brands. We now see more democratisation of the sector — with a lot of companies, startups and new technologies taking centre-stage,” he adds. On the demand side, Goyal elucidates that the demand of EVs in tier-II and tier-III cities in the hinterlands and mofussil has outpaced the metropolitan cities, adding that this is a case in point of the idiom that “technology is a great leveller”. “Electric vehicles will help improve the lives of people living in these areas,” he adds.

Goyal says that in EVs, demand is not a problem in India. It is the supply-side of things. “Consumers are ready. They want more options,” he avers, adding that the electric two-wheeler market in India has shown tremendous progress, and “is poised to show great growth in years to come''. With climate change becoming a cynosure in discussions towards sustainability and the future of the planet, Goyal claims that road transport accounts for one-fifth of global carbon emissions, and needs to be addressed. “Mobility is clearly critical to preserving our planet. In fact, mobility becomes the next frontier in our fight against climate change,” he adds. He also reiterated prime minister Narendra Modi’s view of electric vehicles having the potential of reducing India’s dependency on oil imports, conserving foreign exchange, bringing down air pollution, and taking India to the next level of self-reliance.

The union minister also stressed upon the fact that albeit the demand in electric vehicles has increased for the past five years, but this growth that has been spurted is on a very low base. Notwithstanding, he remains optimistic that the sector should see transformational growth and faster adoptions. “I’m sure the stakeholders of the electric automobile sector will help us break huge records in the sector,” he adds. He also highlights the challenges faced in the early adoption of EVs — how cars can be charged, if possible, at home; how heavy vehicles can also come under the fold of electric charging; increasing the range of electric vehicles. “Many of our startups are working on these existing problems and bringing innovative solutions, but I also believe that the industry is also working towards giving newer ideas in this space,” he adds.

Goyal also took this opportunity to underscore the government’s efforts towards expediting the growth of this market — which he claims is already estimated at ₹50,000 crore in 2025, but he hopes that the growth could be “much more”. “The Government is at the forefront of this transformation in the electric vehicle landscape.” Programmes like the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020; the adoption of FAME I and FAME II, have paved the way for electric vehicles in public transport. “FAME II has been implemented since April 2019, and has a budget allocation of ₹10,000 crore. We have already seen 92,000 EVs, 6,000 e-buses and nearly 3,000 EV charging stations being sanctioned under FAME II,” he explains. The Product-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for auto and auto components is likely to generate an investment of over ₹45,000 crore in the next five years, Goyal claims. “The battery swapping policy, which was announced in the budget, will also help the private sector to develop sustainable, innovative business models for battery, or rather energy as a service (EaaS).”

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