Electric and Hybrid Cars – FAME, National Electric Mobility Mission, etc.

[op-ed snap] Planning for electric mobility

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the b2b

Mains level: Fundamental issues(need to be addressed) discussed in the newscard.


News

Pollution level in India

  1. The World Health Organisation’s urban air quality database had found four Indian cities to be among the world’s 10 most polluted
  2. The database also placed 10 Indian cities in the 20 worst list

Importance of electric vehicles (EVs)

  1. NITI Aayog has estimated that the nation can save up to Rs. 4 lakh crore by rapidly adopting EVs
  2. EVs have the potential to disrupt the mobility ecosystem, and could have a positive impact on the economy as well as the urban environment

Issues

  1. Transitioning from an internal combustion engine (ICE)-based regime to an EV-based one is expected to be a painful process 
  2. NITI Aayog lays stress on the need for a robust action plan to move towards electric mobility by 2030

What should be done?

  1. India needs to address some fundamental issues immediately

FIRST

  1. The first is about who will take the lead
  2. EVs, unlike ICE vehicles, involve several actors at the national, State and city levels, respectively
  3. Coordination between all three is crucial in driving the EV agenda

SECOND

  1. The second is figuring out the best mode forward
  2. China has focussed on the use of electric buses as a catalyst for EV penetration
  3. The Netherlands has captured the EV market using a simple yet well-crafted strategy of creating charging infrastructure and encouraging investment in charging technology by providing incentives to EV buyer
  4. These two case studies show that sustained growth is possible only due to positive economic impacts of EVs. India is today the largest manufacturer and exporter of two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws
  5. Could these vehicles pave the way for an EV revolution?

THIRD

  1. The third is the battery conundrum
  2. India does not produce lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries currently, and companies making battery packs are dependent almost exclusively on imports from China
  3. Accelerating EV use in India should be linked to the “Make in India” goal and domestic battery production
  4. Investment is required for research and development in battery-making and exploring alternative technologies

FOURTH

  1. The fourth is about charging infrastructure
  2. EV charging is more than just using electricity. It involves exchange of information requiring a communication protocol
  3. There is no unique or single-charging technology for EVs
  4. The three major EV users, China, Japan and the European Union, have their own charging technologies which are often conflicting and not interchangeable
  5. The government needs to select or develop appropriate charging technology that avoids multiplicity and reduces the cost of infrastructure, while making it convenient and safe for users

The way forward

  1. India, however, needs a road map, with timelines, processes, well-researched impact studies, bold initiatives and robust investments in technological research to turn its EV dream into reality
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