Hyderabad: India has a significant market potential for electric vehicles (EVs). Although the nation is still in the infancy of adoption of EVs, with the changes in the technology landscape as well as clear vision set by the Indian government, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) estimates that over seven crore electric vehicles could be sold in India till 2030.
This transition of the transportation sector from petroleum-based internal combustion engines (ICEs) to EVs, would create a market of 750 GWh of advanced energy storage solutions over the next decade.
The Government of India has laid down its plans and NITI Aayog is currently finalising national EV policy to make this possible. State Governments such as Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra have made a promising move by announcing their own policies to promote the development of electric mobility infrastructure and providing incentives for manufacturing of EVs and energy storage. Although currently consumers have very limited choices on EVs in India, Indian automobile sector leaders have already showcased their upcoming EVs which can hit the roads very soon.
India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) executive director Dr Rahul Walawalkar told Telangana Today, “Indian companies have successfully built electric cars in the recent past and are lining up electric buses to be provided to State transportation. Batteries are a critical component for EVs and there is a big gap as currently there is no li-ion cell manufacturing taking place in India. Number of IITs and national research labs have been working on research in area of li-ion batteries.”
Research & Development
He adds, “At the same time, there is a big gap in the commercialisation of this innovation as well as linking R&D to needs and timelines required by industry. Hence, most of the local manufacturing companies if interested in setting up li-ion cell manufacturing plant in India may need to license technologies from counties such as Korea, Japan, China, Germany, the US, Canada, the UK or Australia. This has been also the case in the lead acid industry, where leading lead acid providers have traditionally licensed intellectual property from US, Japanese or Chinese companies. R&D in some of the key areas for electric vehicles including battery performance, power electronics devices, advanced e-vehicles testing, battery testing etc., should be encouraged.”
With the objective of triggering the early adoption of EVs in India the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has set a tax rate of 12 per cent for electric vehicles, compared with 28 per cent plus cess for petrol and diesel cars and hybrid vehicles. Niti Aayog has already recommended certain fiscal incentives to EV manufacturers, however, the major challenge lies in creating a robust infrastructure for charging facilities along with reducing the cost to make the solutions economically viable for the end users.
With the talk of EVs gaining momentum in the last few years, both Indian as well as international investors, have shown interest in capacity building for the segment thus presenting an opportunity for Indian manufacturers to enter the segment and undertake research & development in the category, notes Walawalkar.
Electric vehicles, behind the meter and grid scale energy storage are key applications to help the Indian government meet wind and solar targets as well as meeting the energy access goals. The government of India also has a goal of at least 30 per cent of its vehicles running on electric by 2030, a big task as four-wheel EV sales slumped by 40 per cent in the country.
“To achieve the goal, we are required to have sufficient public charging facilities which can be used for charging EVs during the day, then this can actually solve a problem of low net loads during the times when maximum solar energy is being produced. Energy storage is a key component and there is a number of ways in which EV adoption could be transformative for the grid. With better tariff structures and the use of right storage technologies in EVs, we could also use EVs as distributed storage and provide grid balancing services. Shared infrastructure development is one of the major requirements for facilitating electric vehicle adoption in India and demands for a great public-charging ecosystem,” Walawalkar observes.