Sustainable mobility (electric mobility) contributes to a significant role in the economic development of a nation and supports the improvement of the lives of people, both in rural and urban areas. To ensure a better quality of life and make progress towards achieving climate goals, it’s important to bring the availability of affordable, accessible, inclusive, and safe mobility solutions for the nation. One preferred choice for effective transportation is shared, connected, and clean mobility solutions. To reduce emissions in the transportation sector, India is significantly transitioning towards a transportation model that promotes the use of alternative fuel vehicles and Electric Vehicles (EVs) to achieve zero or low carbon emissions.
As countries work to decrease their carbon footprint and battle the negative consequences of climate change, sustainable transportation is an urgent worldwide priority. India is leading this problem because of its expanding population and quick urbanisation. India's approach to sustainable mobility is of utmost importance not only for its population but also for the global environment as one of the world's largest and fastest-growing economies.
7.1% of India's GDP and 49% of its manufacturing GDP are contributed by the automobile industry. The government's 2nd AMP (Automotive Mission Plan) outlines the strategy to take the automotive industry to a world-class level. India agreed to cut its gross domestic product's emission intensity (the amount of greenhouse gases the country emits per unit of GDP) by 33% to 35% above 2005 levels by 2030 as part of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The government is eager to change public perceptions about electric vehicles in order to fulfil its responsibility to the world and reduce the negative effects of automobiles (growing air pollution and ballooning oil import costs). India’s EV market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 49% between 2022-30 and is expected to hit 10-million-unit annual sales by 2030. The EV industry will create 50 million direct and indirect jobs by 2030. A market size of US$ 50 billion for the financing of EVs in 2030 has been identified—about 80% of the current size of India’s retail vehicle finance industry, worth US$ 60 billion today.
EV economics improve when battery costs decrease since they are falling more quickly than expected; in most areas, the five-year TCO is better than any other option. In addition, consumers gain from both financial and non-financial incentives, such as subsidies and registration advantages.
The highway between Delhi and Chandigarh is the first in the nation to be made e-vehicle friendly owing to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited's (BHEL's) successful commissioning of 20 solar-based EV Chargers.
Petrol and diesel-powered vehicles have historically dominated India's mobility scene. The heavy environmental damage brought on by this reliance on fossil fuels includes greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Major Indian cities frequently rank among the world's most polluted, endangering the public's health and way of life.
Furthermore, the nation's strong reliance on oil imports presents it with a growing array of energy security issues. This susceptibility to changes in the price of oil globally calls for a transition to other and more environmentally friendly means of transportation.
To cope with the existing challenges, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are the focus of India's transformational move towards sustainable mobility. The government's goal of lowering carbon emissions, decreasing pollution, and boosting energy security is matched with the adoption and promotion of Electric Vehicles (EVs). The Paris Agreement's goals of keeping global warming far below 2 degrees Celsius are also supported by this shift.
The Indian government has undertaken several policy initiatives and incentives to promote the proliferation of electric vehicles. The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) programme, which was first introduced in 2015 and has since been expanded and improved, is one of the most famous. Manufacturers, purchasers, and those building the infrastructure for charging stations all receive subsidies and incentives under FAME.
Further lowering the cost of electric vehicles is a large reduction in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on EVs. Such legislative assistance encourages domestic and foreign automakers to participate in the Indian EV sector in addition to encouraging consumers to transition to EVs. There are many opportunities and difficulties ahead as India transitions to sustainable mobility with electric vehicles. On the one hand, this transformation offers India the possibility to become a technical and production powerhouse for electric vehicles. The country is a desirable location for production and investment due to its sizable domestic market and skilled labour force.
However, for this vision to fully come to fruition, several issues must be resolved. These include the need for additional infrastructure development, ensuring that EVs are accessible and affordable for all income categories, and addressing consumer range concerns. Furthermore, recycling and disposing of batteries raise environmental issues that call for creative solutions.
The creation of a reliable charging infrastructure is essential for marketing electric automobiles. Because of this, the government has launched steps to speed up the construction of charging stations all around the nation. Both quick chargers along roads and slower charges in populated regions fall under this category. The combined efforts of the Indian government and key industry players have produced encouraging outcomes. Sales of electric vehicles have significantly increased recently, despite starting from a low basis. This development trajectory is anticipated to continue as a result of investments in domestic production facilities and portfolio expansions by major automakers for their electric car lineups. This transition has been led by the two-wheeler market, where electric scooters are becoming more common in cities. Additionally, the electric three-wheeler market is thriving, especially in the last-mile connectivity segment.