India is set to move further towards an automobile industry that is primarily electricity powered. The government has introduced certain initiatives in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint in India’s mobility scenario by 2030 and electric vehicles (EVs) are seen to be pivotal to these plans. With schemes like the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) and the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME), the government has set lofty targets that if realised would result in a significant increase in the number of EVs on roads in India. Currently, India is aiming for 30 per cent of all vehicles on the road to be electric by 2030. As reported by Autocar India, in the FY2019, the number of EV sales reached a total of 7,59,600 units. However, this is a small fraction of the more than 252 million registered vehicles on Indian roads as on 2017. And with an annual growth rate of 9.48 per cent (for 2016−17), this number is expected to be significantly larger in 2030, which would require a significant increase in the number of EVs from where it is now in the country. This increase would call for substantial development in both the country’s charging infrastructure and the nation's system for producing and delivering electricity. However, India is still heavily dependent on coal as its primary source of energy. According to the BP Energy Outlook 2019, despite some efforts from the government to promote renewable resources — a plan by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to install 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 — India still would depend on coal for almost 50 per cent of its energy requirements. This blog will analyse the feasibility of EVs in India, in particular, the state of Kerala with a focus on the sourcing of the electricity required to power these vehicles.
Jacob Thamarappally is a Research Intern at CPPR. Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of Centre for Public Policy Research.
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