How India’s EV Industry Is Moving Past Roadblocks To Go Electric

The electric vehicle market in India has witnessed tremendous popularity over the last couple of years. Experts have prophesied that the EV industry in India will grow significantly in the coming years. And behind the skyrocketing transformation, it is not just the government that is playing a vital role but also the big players in the automobile such as Reva Electric Car Company (RECC), and Indian app-based transportation network company Ola is working have been doing working day in and out.

Mission Electric

There was a time when the EV industry in India was at a very nascent stage. With a vehicle like Mahindra’s Reva, India was moving towards to become a nation with a significant number of EV.  

As a joint venture between the Maini Group of Bangalore and Amerigon Electric Vehicle Technologies (AEVT Inc.) of the USA, the Reva Electric Car Company (RECC) was founded in 1994. The prime motive was to develop and produce an affordable compact electric car.  Also, back then there were other automakers also who were working to produce and deliver the same, however, in 2001, RECC launched the REVA.

In order to push the EV industry to reach a higher level, the Govt. of India in 2012 started the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020, under which the Department of Heavy Industry is implemented FAME-India Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles).

Talking about EV, today it’s not just the four wheelers that are emerging, two-wheelers like Ather is also making a great impact on the Indian EV industry. What started out just a concept is today taking the industry by storm. The industry is booming at such a speed that even the big players from the automobile industry are entering the space.

Mahindra is already a leading company that has invested a lot on electric vehicles and also with its new tech-based premium e-mobility service, Glyd. And now the company has joined hands with Indian app-based cab company Ola. The partnership is all about a first-of-its-kind programme that brings across different segments, including e-buses, e-cabs, and e-rickshaws together on the Ola app. Kickstarted in the city of Nagpur, the Pilot project has 200 electric vehicles in the city. Also, as Mahindra has partnered with Ola, out of the 200 electric vehicles, 100 are Mahindra’s e2o Plus electric hatchback. Another player in the project was  Kinetic that supplied 100 of its e-rickshaws.

However, the project had faced a critical roadblock as drivers were not happy with the electric vehicles and wanted to move back to petrol/diesel vehicles. According to a source, the reason was that the operating expenses were high and drivers had to wait for a long time at the charging station.

Despite all the roadblocks, in November 2018, Ola was in the headlines as the company took another step towards becoming a vital player in the Indian EV market. According to a report, Ola could manufacture the electric vehicle on its own or get into an arrangement where it has complete control over the manufacturing process.

The Entry Of South Korean Giants

The electric vehicle industry is without a doubt is booming and with the policies in favour, this expansion is prophesied to get bigger. Another thing that is acting as a catalyst is the permission to set up a personal charging station for individuals.

Furthermore, it’s not only Mahindra and Ola who are the vital players in this ecosystem, but Bajaj Auto is also working on electric vehicles.

Recently, the Indian EV market has welcomed a South Korean player. Two of the well-known carmakers Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors on March 19 made an announcement that they are planning to invest $300 million in Ola’s EV initiative. The two carmakers will work with Ola with their India-centric EVs and create a whole new EV infrastructure.

Bottom Line

The EV ecosystem in India is in such a stage that it is experiencing both rise and downfall. However, the big players from the car manufacturing industry still believe that EVs will soon become a significant part of India’s commuting space.

No matter what the industry is downfalls and hurdles come as an add-on, but with little more staying power, the table can be turned. That is what India’s Ola and Mahindra is doing. Now with Hyundai and Kia joining the club, it seems things might change for the good of Indian EV industry.



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