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Electric Vehicles: Is India heading into era of electric cars?

A few years ago did you think that an electric car can be yours for a few lack of rupees?

Many such cars were introduced in the recently held Delhi Auto Expo, due to which your dream of the electric car is now possible. Like Mahindra and Mahindra launched an electric avatar of its mini SUV KUV 100, which is priced at 8 lakh 25 thousand rupees or 11 thousand 600 dollars. This is the cheapest electric car available in India for buyers of private vehicles.

Electric vehicles in India are heading into booming popularity.
After this comes the number of Nexon EV of Tata Motors. The electric model of Nexon costs around 14 lakh rupees or 20 thousand dollars. The Tata Motors company, which also owns the Jaguar Land Rover brand, is very excited about its plans for electric cars.

That is why Tata Motors also displayed the concept model of its electric SUV Sierra at the Delhi Auto Expo. Apart from this, Tata Motors also represented an electric hatchback car, an electric bus, and even an electric commercial truck.

Apart from Indian companies, Korean automobile company Hyundai and China-owned British company MG Motors have also recently launched their electric SUV in the Indian market. worth priced around 25 lakh or 35 thousand dollars.

And not only four-wheelers, India's two-wheeler companies Hero Motors, Bajaj Auto and TVS have also increased their footprint in the electric vehicles market. In the electric vehicle market of India, many small local companies and some Chinese companies have launched electric vehicles keeping in mind the choice of Indians.

However, these players of electric vehicles have not been able to achieve any special success so far.

But, at the Delhi Auto Expo to be held every two years, almost every car manufacturer has vigorously promoted clean fuel, green car or electric car in its representation. In such a situation, there is only one big question on the tongue of every person.

Is the era of electric cars in India?

Sailesh Chandra, president of Tata Motors' electric vehicles unit, says, "I will still refrain from saying that the era of electric vehicles has come to India. These vehicles are yet to be tested on Indian roads."

However, Shailesh Chandra further adds, "I am sure that if there are many options of electric vehicles come in the market, whether it is from Tata Motors or other companies, and the charging facilities of electric vehicles in the cities are the next two- If we increase in three years, then it is certain that the demand for electric vehicles will increase later. "

Tata Motors already launched many electric vehicle concepts of the already popular tata brands like Nexon and Tiago.
According to a survey by Local Circles-CNBC TV-18, "If Indian customers are not giving preference to electric vehicles today, the biggest reason is their expensive prices."
The survey was based on interaction with 32 thousand people in more than 180 urban areas of India. One result of the survey also revealed that about 65 percent of the people still want to spend less than Rs. 15 lakhs to buy an electric car.

But, now that new and cheaper options are coming in the market, will Indian customers start buying electric cars?

Role of Government of India

The Indian government has been trying to promote the purchase of vehicles based on clean fuels for a long time. However, the government's policy on electric cars is not entirely clear.

GOI is providing many benefits to Indian as well as international car makers if they want to develop Electric Vehicles under Make in India project
Recently, the government announced the second phase of its FAME scheme. Also, the government had increased its fund for electric vehicles by ten times to ten thousand crores during 2019-2022.Rajesh Menon, director-general of the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM), says, "Today many companies are launching electric vehicles in the market. The main reason for this is the features of the government's FAME-2 policy. This will give a boost to electric vehicles, such as buses, trucks, and taxis, in the commercial sector. This will gradually increase their demand.

But, this is the real root of the problem. FAME means Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India, it is a central government scheme that only encourages and manufactures electric vehicles for public transport. 

Says Ashim Sharma, an analyst at NRI Consulting and Solutions, "The government's thinking has become very practical now because they are now insisting on promoting electric vehicles only in certain segments." Such as two-wheelers, taxis, and buses. This segment can adopt electric vehicles soon. So a greater number of people will benefit from this and the hope is that the remaining people will also follow it later. ''

However, this segment constitutes only 20 percent of the total market of vehicles. So, when will we finally have access to electric vehicles? After all, why are the buyers of private vehicles not buying electric cars or two-wheelers?

Indian consumer with the fear to buy an EV

Rajesh Menon of SIAM says that buyers of private vehicles still have three big fears related to electric cars. The first is that electric cars are worth more. Because these vehicles are much more expensive than traditional vehicles.

The second thing is that their options are very limited. However, now electric cars are being launched in large numbers. The third concern of the customers is the lack of infrastructure associated with it. This means that there are still very few facilities to charge electric cars in cities.

Rajesh Menon told the BBC, "A lot of changes are going to come later. Especially from a technical perspective. There will be a lot of progress in terms of charging facilities. And the quality of the batteries will also be better. If we start the work of making batteries at the local level, then the prices of electric cars will fall further and it will become easier to decide to buy them. ''.

There is too much dependency on the Chinese Market

Common Indians always look at China's products with haste. Be it electronics or early electric vehicles. These vehicles are considered very light for the roads of India. But, in 2019, MG Motors entered the Indian market and got a positive atmosphere in the market. This has encouraged other Chinese companies to enter the Indian market.

At the Delhi Auto Expo, which ended a few days ago, China's big automobile company Great Wall Motors announced that it will launch its SUV handover and electric vehicle GWM EV in the Indian market. Great Wall Motors has already announced a billion-dollar investment in India. In the second half of this year, Great Wall Motors will acquire American company General Motors' plant near Pune.

Then there is also the Delhi-based Bird Electric Company, which is preparing to bring Haima electric cars from China to India in the next 15 to 18 months. The company claims that this car will be able to go up to 200 km once charged.

The price of this electric car is expected to be less than 1 million or 14 thousand dollars. Haima is a part of the FAW Group, a Chinese state-run automotive company. Its headquarters is in Changchun.

Apart from this, more than 120 electric buses of BYD are already in the Indian market. BYD is the world's largest electric vehicle company. BYD means Build Your Dreams is headquartered in Shenzhen, China. This company assembles buses in Chennai in association with a company named Olectra Greentech.

China is the largest market for electric vehicles worldwide. America and Europe number come after this. In such a situation, it was also decided that China is also in the top position in the business of lithium-ion batteries. A large part of the worldwide export of electric car batteries comes from China.

India will become the largest market

On the other hand, India's market is so big that it cannot be ignored. By 2025, India will overtake Japan to become the world's third-largestHowever, in the last few months, the speed of sale of vehicles in India has been very slow. In the last few decades, the sale of vehicles in the Indian market is the lowest today. There are many reasons responsible for this. The domestic economy is sluggish at this time and today the speed of spending of customers is going towards a historical decline.

Apart from this, frequent steps in market-related policies and increasing footfall towards alternative fuels are also responsible for this. market. According to Goldman Sachs, by then there will be around 74 lakh electric vehicles in India.

The government wants India to become the largest center for manufacturing electric cars worldwide. Also, big companies like Suzuki and Tata Motors have announced huge investments in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries.

Recently, Tata Motors announced that it, along with its subsidiaries Tata Chemicals and Tata Motors, will manufacture and assemble lithium-ion batteries in India. But, this work can be done only with the help of import of important minerals like cobalt and lithium from other countries.

A clean technical analysis of government data shows that imports of lithium-ion batteries in India increased six-fold between 2014-15 and 2018-19. The demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to reach 10 GW in 2022 and 50 GW by 2025.

Policy analyst Nitin Pai wrote in an article in Livemint, "Even if domestic demand can be met by developing the capacity to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in India, it will not be able to compete with cheaper batteries coming from China.

In a market like India where people are very sensitive to prices, this is another obstacle in the way of increasing demand for electric vehicles.

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