has the world’s largest and fastest growing two-wheeler market. It is the
cheapest and quickest form of local travel. Forecasts peg the number of
vehicles sold annually to reach 26.6 million units by 2025.
thought and prospects of a market this large going electric, definitely sounds
promising. The government of India has
recognised this size and promise, and has, therefore, set an industry mandate
to push all manufacturers to switch to producing and selling all two-wheelers
as electric vehicles by 2030. The opportunities and benefits this would
generate are far reaching and several.
burns 966 million tons of coal each year, making it the second largest coal
consumer in the world. As is evidently clear, coal is a dirty fuel, which
generates severe pollution – a big challenge India faces. Coal burning
generates a huge amount of greenhouse gases and is also unsustainable as
reserves are finite. Naturally, having an entire industry sector switch to
electric will have massive benefits in terms of lowering pollution, emitting
far lesser greenhouse gases as well as making transport greener, cleaner and
recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency found that, with
solar and wind farms becoming ever so cheap, up to 62% of new renewable energy
projects could undercut 800 gigawatts worth of coal burning. In India,
renewable energy would be cheaper than between 87% - 91% new coal plants. Furthermore,
in less than a decade, solar costs have fallen by 85% and this trend is likely
to continue aggressively as more players enter the renewable energy space and
technology gets cheaper.
could very well translate into a realistic situation in the near future where
charging stations for EVs and batteries are powered by solar and wind
solutions, in a tropical country where the sun shines for almost the whole
year. This means that at the current cost of solar, which is around Rs. 3 per
unit, it could fall precipitously, undercutting every other form of fuel by a
considerable margin. The added benefit of this being a completely clean,
renewable, environmentally friendly, carbon footprint reducing enterprise is
almost like divine intervention, a near perfect solution.
REALISING ENERGY EUTOPIA
realise this energy utopia however, India faces some serious challenges for
which it will have to find meaningful and sustainable solutions.
electrical grid throughout major cities in India needs considerable overhaul.
One that promotes long lasting, robust infrastructure that minimizes
maintenance costs, transmission losses and increases efficiency. This will be
the backbone that the EV market leans on. Even though the analysis is that at
full adoption – if every two-wheeler in India was an electric vehicle – the
grid load would just be at 4 – 5%, if the grid continues in its current form,
this would not be achievable. With such a large number of EVs on the road, this
future grid would have to account for variables and scenarios like lower usage
in residential apartment buildings and complexes in the day, but high load in
corporate parks and office spaces. The grid would also have to account for the
reverse to occur at night. Infrastructure would need to be built, standardized
and properly enforced to maintain these variables and any load & usage
swapping could be seen as a solution to the load of the grid to some degree.
Innovations, protocols and standardisations in battery manufacturing, types and
kinds of batteries would encourage holistic usage of the grid. Solutions such
as incentivizing people to charge during non-peak load hours, as well as
charging stations offering discounts during non-peak hours can be explored with
in glove with updating the grid would be, the construction of an intricate and
reliable charging network. Though several companies have already started
building their charging networks, the size of the market as of now is extremely
small. Of all 2 and 4 wheelers sold in India annually, EVs make up only a
fraction. Annual sales of all electric vehicles are only at one lakh units so
far in 2022. This makes planning and prioritizing large-scale deployments very
difficult. It is something akin to shooting in the dark, creating wide-ranging
ramifications ranging from urban infrastructure, city layouts, manufacturing
trends & transitions, learning curves and behavioral shifts.
government needs to provide that shot in the arm which will enable detailed
research over large scale adoption issues. Specific aspects like EV charging
demand and Time of Day (ToD) correlations, requirement similarities and
differences between privately owned vehicles & public fleet vehicles,
distribution capacity and tariff rates would have to be studied.
case scenarios like what would happen to the grid if all EVs were connected at
the same time need to be plotted out and have contingencies created. All of
these aspects would play a major role in creating efficiency and synergy
between EVs and the grid that powers them, while avoiding unforeseen
these challenges exist, India seems poised for an EV revolution. With intent
and action from the center – measured by subsidies and incentives to
manufacturers and start-ups, coupled with lucrative profits to be made as the
EV sector booms, the future does seem hopeful.
(Mayank Jain is Director, Crayon Motors. The views expressed in the above
article are solely the author's and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of Motown
India or its affiliates)
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