India's Electric Vehicle Revolution: A Path of Innovation and Self-Reliance 

September 8, 2023
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By RK Misra, President, SMEV 

September 9, 2023: The Government of India has done commendable work in supporting electric vehicles on almost every front be it demand-side incentives, supporting manufacturing and localization endeavors of the OEMs, and creation of charging infrastructure across major tapping points in the country. This required close coordination among 8-9 central government ministries, corresponding departments in the states and union territories, industry bodies, and industry members. 

About 26 Indian states and union territories have shown commitment to the electric vehicle ecosystem by launching their electric vehicle policies in the last five years. Several support measures have been taken over the above those mentioned in the policy through exemption of registration charges, subsidized electricity tariffs, and mandating EV-only vehicles for government offices, among others. 

On World EV Day, it's important to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the dedication and contributions of policymakers, industry leaders, innovators, academia, and electric vehicle enthusiasts. Their collective efforts have demonstrated the adaptability and potential of electric vehicles. The result is about 2.9 million registered electric vehicles on roads and a much bigger manufacturing capacity of OEMs and component suppliers. 

The exceptional growth momentum of the Indian EV industry has just begun, we are already talking about the electrification of trucks and off-road vehicles, while the PM-eBus Sewa scheme is all set to extend the benefits of electric buses to 170 Indian cities by deploying 10,000 e-buses and the creation of associated charging infrastructure. 

It's fair to assert that the electric vehicle sector within the Indian automotive industry has become an integral part of the thriving startup revolution, inspiring countless young and skilled engineers as well as business professionals to venture into this field. Approximately 300-350 Indian startups are actively engaged in various aspects of the EV industry, encompassing OEMs, component manufacturing, software development, battery pack production, battery recycling, and more. 

The Hon’ble Prime Minister laid the Panchamrit pathway to address the climate change crisis at the COP-26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland. We see the electric mobility industry contributing to each of the five Amrit Tattva, by reducing carbon emissions in both passenger and freight transportation. 

This transformation will be no mean feat, but we have the necessary resources, tools, and most importantly self-confidence to achieve this in our own way and on our terms. Embracing Atmanirbharta is more crucial than ever, as it shields business models from external supply chain disruptions, allows us to manufacture at price points and quality standards that resonate with Indian consumers, and helps establish formidable advantages for our business models. 

The Indian EV industry will tremendously benefit from localization efforts of the nation in the semiconductor industry be it new FAB or ATMP investments. More positive developments are on the horizon in the renewable energy sector, spanning from the localization of modules to the provision of viability gap funding for Battery Energy Storage Systems and the facilitation of 

renewable energy access for electric vehicle charging and swapping operators through open access frameworks. 

While the nation witnesses the momentous G20 summit procession in New Delhi, celebrating the theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, we should also envisage our electric vehicle industry and our skilled engineers taking on a more significant role in addressing global mobility and climate change challenges. 

What should instill pride in us is that India is currently forging its unique trajectory in the electric vehicle revolution, drawing inspiration from inventive policy initiatives initiated by its states, cities, and citizens. Instead of replicating the Western or other Asian models, India is paving its distinct way forward. Rather than copying the template of the West and other Asian countries. 

At SMEV, we remain committed to actively supporting the EV industry, and the policymakers in shaping up the right future for EVs and putting India on the global electric mobility map. SMEV will assist in creating a comprehensive ecosystem that accentuates the positives and mitigates the negative impact of EVs on our environment and the economy. 

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EVStory team is group of well seasoned journalists from the e-mobility segment with rich experience in the auto industry.

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