‘Electric vehicles have still a long way to go in India’

Heat, bad roads and lack of govt. support are among challenges

India has a long way to go before electric vehicles replaced those with internal combustion engines, said Nicholas Thomas, Global Director of Electric Vehicles, Nissan Motors.

He was participating in the ‘Auto 3.0: Rebooting to Electric Vehicles (EVs)’ organized by EY here on Thursday. He cited several constraints like high heat, challenging roads, low spending capacity and lack of government support as hurdles to the electric vehicles becoming a mass market product.

He said that the government in Norway and city of California played a positive role in encouraging EVs by providing free parking and free charging.

Nissan Motors, being the largest seller of EV cars in the world with its Leaf brand has sold more than three lakh cars, could find it difficult to enter the Indian market taking into consideration the average spending of $7,000 by the Indian consumers for purchasing a car. He pointed out that the cost of the battery of Leaf car alone was $10,000. Even by 2025, when the cost of the battery is supposed to decrease to $4,000, it would not be viable for Indian consumers as the battery cost would be half the average cost.

Swapping batteries

Regarding the battery swapping idea being floated to suit the Indian market, Mr. Thomas cautioned it was not as simple as it looked — the swapping centers should be one of the ‘cleanest’ places almost like a battery manufacturing unit.

Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Principal Advisor (MNRE), Government of India, spoke about the various research efforts taking place in battery technology in India and the plans being developed by the central government to boost localization of EV technology, particularly in battery cells.

Source- The Hindu