Four key pillars to building India's EV ecosystem

'Aatmanirbharta' will not only provide self-sufficiency to Indian EV manufacturers and consumers, but it will also transform us into a global electric powerhouse.

Four key pillars to building India's EV ecosystem

Friday January 06, 2023,

4 min Read

India is right at the precipice of an EV revolution—soon to become the global hotspot in the sector. As the country continues to embark upon this journey of electric mobility, ‘Aatmanirbharta’ or self-reliance is going to play an integral part in India’s success.

India has the world’s largest and fastest-growing EV two and three-wheeler markets. It will be possible to seamlessly cater to a massive market like India only if we are self-reliant, especially in the technological aspect of it.

'Aatmanirbharta' will not only provide self-sufficiency to Indian EV manufacturers and consumers, but it will also transform us into a global electric powerhouse.

This will be a culmination of efforts from manufacturers open to consistent feedback from consumers and support from government agencies with respect to subsidies and ease of business.

Encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship that runs deep in the country across social strata is vital. The evolving Indian EV market can be measured by the growing number of startups manufacturing everything—from low and high-speed two-wheelers to four-wheelers, hybrid and electric vehicles, e-carts and heavy EVs.

Several state governments are also contributing to EV startups through their policies, subsidies, and initiatives.

So what could be some fruitful focus areas towards Aatmanirbharta in the EV sector?

Simplicity of product

As volumes increase, safety is a big factor that Indian EV manufacturers need to prioritise. Delivering on safety, cost-effectiveness, and range anxiety is going to be of utmost importance to ensure more people choose the EV way.

Manufacturers must focus on ensuring simplicity and consistency in their product quality and keep evolving the technology needed to make EVs safer. All efforts must be put to ensure non-complicated, easy-to-operate products with minimal or zero issues.

Research and Development (R&D)

Investing and developing our indigenous technology, suitable and tailor-made for Indian conditions vis-à-vis Indian roads, changing weather, required range, and driving habits are crucial.

Manufacturing of key components like drive trains and batteries is in full swing and will go a long way in fuelling self-reliance. One major challenge in India’s EV revolution is magnets.

Manufacturing of EV motors needs better magnets, and the best magnets are made from using 17 rare earth metals, which are extremely difficult to extract from the core of the earth.

China controls the extraction and supply of rare earth magnets, and it is not in the interest of the growth of our e-mobility that we depend on other countries for magnets.

The Indian government and companies need to invest in R&D in the area of magnets that will lead us to cost-effective solutions for EVs. The government-owned International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) has already undertaken research in the area to develop new magnets to make India self-reliant.

Putting the consumer first

Prioritising the needs of the customer is vital in the EV sector. A large industry-wide, government-driven effort towards delivering exactly what consumers need is essential and already underway.

With the government offering several subsidies to startups with two and three-wheelers, battery-swapping technology, and charging solutions, large-scale legacy manufacturers have already started introducing EVs and hybrid cars into the market.

Collaborations between large-scale manufacturers, startups, and the government would provide a boost to vehicle manufacturing, setting up a robust charging infrastructure and battery-swapping network, and increasing the density of charging stations. These collaborations will drive adoption, expand serviceability, and bring costs down.

After-sales service is another pivotal area of focus. Due to the dearth or absolute absence of after-sales services, most Indians feel discouraged to purchase an EV. This mindset needs to be changed by establishing thorough, reliable, and prompt after-sales services for EV vehicles.

The electric vehicle industry offers a plethora of scope and unique opportunities to revolutionise the way we see commute and transportation. All stakeholders in the sector need to take cooperative efforts to consolidate information, knowledge, and resources with a 360-degree approach to ensure the safe and secure mass adoption of EVs.

Starting with a robust product leading up to prompt after-sales services will ensure India’s place on the front row of the EV revolution.

Edited by Suman Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)