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India’s Green Car Plan – Will this Dream Turn into Reality?
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There is a big market for Electric Vehicles (EV’s) even outside the U.S. Big companies are entering the race to becoming the ultimate EV maker in this new wave of the automobile industry. Bigwigs for Electric Vehicles include Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Renault-Nissan, and, of-course, Tesla. The European and U.S. markets are taken by a storm with this new rage of EV’s on an ever progressing mode. Numbers recently released in January show that almost 1,59,139 vehicles were sold during January 2017; showing a 70 percent year-over-year increase. The EV market will be worth over $100 million U.S.D globally by 2020 as per an estimate. With such global developments, India’s Green Car Plan now steps into this foray.

india’s green car plan ev's

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi

India’s ‘Most Influential’ government think tank, as reported by Reuters, has drafted a 90-page blueprint. The suggested recommendations are drafted by ‘Niti Aayog’, a planning body lead by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. The draft is named – ‘Transformative Mobility Solutions for India’. This draft has recommended lower taxes and interest rates for all the loans on Electric Vehicles (EV’s). India is one of the fastest developing auto-markets in the world, and this blueprint shows a sign of a major shift in policy.

India’s Green Car Plan a Policy Shift

 India’s green car plan aims to electrify all the vehicles of the nation by 2032. The industry and government sources also suggest that the planning body will shape a new policy for mobility. This draft suggests that by the end of 2018, the government should open a new battery plant. Moreover, it should use the tax revenues collected from the sale of diesel and petrol automobiles to make the charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EV’s).

The current policy of the nation incentivizes both Electric Vehicles (EV’s) and hybrid vehicles (that combine electric power and fossil fuel). While, the new report has a sole focus on EV’s, this can be a bit of a worry for automakers. This plan is followed by China’s tremendous measures for pushing sales of the plug-in vehicles; that included research funding, subsidies, and rules discouraging fossil fuel vehicles in large cities, Reuter’s reports.

Challenges for the New Plan

india’s green car plan

The blueprint suggesting India’s green car plan is certainly a positive move but it will also face some significant challenges. Currently, there is a huge lack of charging stations and other necessary infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (EV’s). Car prices will also surge due to the high battery costs, and car makers consulted for proposals may hesitate to make the investment needed for bringing the technology.

Maruti Suzuki, India’s top-selling car manufacturer has invested in the mild-hybrid technology. While this technology makes lesser use of electric power compared to full hybrids; Toyota Motor Corp is the automaker selling a luxury hybrid sedan – Camry in India.

Currently, Mahindra & Mahindra is the sole manufacturer of Electric Vehicles (EV’s) in the nation. The Indian government plans for a radical change in the auto-market and achieving it is not an impossible but surely a tough feat.

 Significant Challenges for India

  • India's EV market industry has a mere 0.1 percent global share.
  • National Electric Mobility Mission Plan released in 2013, aims for 6 million hybrid and electric vehicles by 2020, but a mere 790 units were sold during 2015-16 as per government data.
  • Indian Ministry estimates a budget of INR 140 billion ($2.2 billion U.S.D) but 2017-18's budget is a meagre INR 1.75 billion ($27 million U.S.D).
  • Almost over 55,000 vehicles are registered in India every day; so manufacturing cost-effective EV's is a huge challenge.
  • India faces issues of power cut on a regular basis and it needs to combat it's electricity issues. For this, by 2022, India plans to achieve the target of 175 Gigawatt (GW) renewable energy capacity; 100 Gigawatt (GW) from solar energy.

India is planning huge towards the Electric Vehicles (EV's) market, but how much will it achieve by 2020-2030 is something we will have to wait and watch.

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