E-ve­hi­cles Sales Jump First Time in 4 Years

In­dus­try seeks more sup­port to reach 2020 tar­get of putting 5-6 m EVs on the road

The Economic Times - - Companies - Sharmistha.Mukher­jee @times­group.com

New Delhi: Sales of elec­tric ve­hi­cles (EVs) in­creased for the first time in four years in the just-ended fis­cal year, but the growth doesn’t seem to have the mo­men­tum to take the num­bers to the gov­ern­ment’s tar­get of putting 5-6 mil­lion EVs on the road by the turn of the decade.

Sales in the year ended March 31 rose 37.5% to 22,000 from 16,000 the year be­fore, data from in­dus­try body So­ci­ety of Man­u­fac­tur­ers of Elec­tric Ve­hi­cles (SMEVs) showed. These in­cluded 20,000 elec­tric two-wheel­ers and 2,000 four-wheel­ers. The jump was fu­elled by sub­si­dies un­der a gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive called FAME In­dia (Faster Adop­tion and Man­u­fac­tur­ing of Hy­brid and Elec­tric Ve­hi­cles in In­dia). The vol­ume is still way short of the high of 1,00,000 units hit four years ago.

While in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives said they are en­thused by the jump in de­mand af­ter four years, the still low num­bers raise ques­tions on at­tain­ing the tar­get out­lined un­der the Na­tional Elec­tric Mo­bil­ity Mis­sion Plan. Man­u­fac­tures want fur­ther state sup­port to push EVs, adop­tion of which are seen as a cred­i­ble means to re­duce pol­lu­tion in cities.

“The in­crease in sales last fis­cal (year) in­di­cates grow­ing aware­ness and the fact that con­sumers are see­ing good value propo­si­tion in elec­tric ve­hi­cles. How­ever, gov­ern­ments at ev­ery level will need to do more to achieve the tar­get of hav­ing 5-6 mil­lion EVs on In­dian roads by 2020,” So­hin­der Gill, di­rec­tor of the man­u­fac­tur­ers’ so­ci­ety, told ET.

Lack of charg­ing sta­tions and dif­fi­cul­ties in get­ting credit for the pur­chase of EVs are seen as two ma­jor road­blocks in large-scale mi­gra­tion to green mo­bil­ity, in­dus­try ex­perts said. At the last count, just about 100 charg­ing points were avail­able in the coun­try for EVs. Given that elec­tric two-wheel­ers can av­er­age 50-55 km on a full charge and elec­tric four-wheel­ers about 100 km, range anx­i­ety has be­come a ma­jor de­ter­rent in the adop­tion of full elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Tech­nol­ogy is avail­able today to set up a charg­ing sta­tion at around .₹ 30,000. “We can eas­ily set up 1,000 charg­ing sta­tions in a span of three months. The only thing we need is the gov­ern­ment’s sup­port to cre­ate a wide and ac­ces­si­ble net­work of charg­ing sta­tions at ev­ery con­ve­nient point — be it our lo­cal mar­ket or city roads,” said Gill.

FILE PHOTO

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