By Nishant Arya
Thirteen Indian cities are listed among the most polluted in the world. Hence it is inevitable for the automotive industry to adopt BS-VI emission and safety norms, non-fossil fuel-based transport, electric vehicles, and shared mobility. In India EVs had about 31 percent growth. The industry is well placed to achieve autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility future by capitalising on its capabilities and building on the Government programmes and policies.
About four in 10 Indians are exposed to five times the safe limit of particulate matter, according to a study by NASA, UN and European Commission. The transport sector contributes a significant percentage of greenhouse gas emission and it is expected to increase. EV is a realistic and viable solution to alleviate the environmental concerns. Sustainable transportation is essential for the developing countries like India which has a budding EV market for personal and public transportation. This has increased investments in electric vehicles. OEMs are acquiring technologies and setting up manufacturing capabilities.
The Ministry of Heavy Industries (MOHI) has come up with a phased manufacturing programme (PMP) for EVs. The move reflects the Government’s ‘Make in India’ focus and provides the much-needed motivation to domestic manufacturers of electric vehicles.
The Government’s proposal to set up a National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage to promote clean and connected technology will help create sustainable EV infrastructure in India. This will also boost end-to-end electric vehicle ecosystem, including charging infrastructure. With PMP in place, India is well equipped and is all set to become a global leader in EVs in the next 10 years.
The Union Budget 2019-20 supports faster deployment of EVs. Reduction of GST on EVs from 12 percent to five percent, exemption in customs duty on EV parts and additional income tax reduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on the loan to purchase these vehicles will make them affordable. The approval of Rs 10,000 crore for the FAME II scheme is in line with the Government’s aim to make India a manufacturing hub for EVs. These have set the right direction to the national vision of eco-friendly road transportation by 2030.
In the commercial vehicle segment, especially in public transportation, deployment of e-vehicles has been faster than in the passenger segment. However, the absence of indigenous technologies, and high costs have been the major obstacles to a higher pace of growth. Most of the components like battery cells, motors and controllers are imported. The domestic manufacturers are working hand in hand with the government to localise these critical aggregates.
Our approach to EVs has been holistic by providing complete solution to the customers. This has ensured sustainability and scalability across all our business verticals, be it auto systems and assemblies, buses and electric vehicles, EV charging infrastructure and the renewables.
The group is developing in-house, end-to-end capabilities in the e-mobility domain right from generation to the consumption of green energy for e-vehicles. We introduced India’s first 100 percent electric bus named “ECO-LIFE”, a zero emission vehicle (ZEV), in association with our European partner Solaris Bus. The bus was manufactured, tested and homologated completely in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme. ‘ECO-LIFE’ has successfully completed trial runs across India. The vehicle will save around 1,000 equivalent tonne of carbon dioxide and 350,000 litres of diesel over 10 years of operation.
Our focus was not only on making a 100 percent electric bus but also on creating an entire ecosystem for adoption of EVs by building charging stations and on providing a comprehensive range of clean mobility solutions. As a one-stop solution provider in the electric vehicles segment we offer a complete range with electric bus, battery technology, charging infrastructure and operating pattern.
There are many challenges ahead. With almost all the major OEMs putting in their synergies forward to develop EVs and the supporting infrastructure, we are sure that these challenges can be overcome. The industry is working as a cohesive unit with government support. (APA)
(Nishant Arya is Executive Director of JBM Group: views expressed are personal)