• Lack of service networks: Maybe this can be driven by the government with the support of a major service partner or manufacturer who has a pan-India presence.
Here are a few suggestions that I feel would go a long way in addressing these issues and promoting the rapid growth and acceptance of electric vehicles in the country, besides encouraging businesses to enter this domain.
• Central and state policies favouring the adoption of electric mobility — financial subsidies, non-monetary incentives and/or restrictions and penalties.
• PPP model for setting up charging facilities and parking infrastructure.
• Reducing the dependence on Li-ion batteries by exploring alternative renewable energy options.
• A model project which can be funded by the government in certain states/cities under the ‘Smart Cities’ programme, and then extended across the country. This should encompass some model villages as well, such as those that have a high per capita agricultural output.
• Incubation facilities for EV enabled businesses, as have already been set up successfully in various cities in the world including Shanghai, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and Barcelona. Taking a cue from these global cities, the Central and state governments could partner to set up such facilities in Indian cities like Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Dharamshala, etc.
• Creation of technology platforms and awareness programmes at B2B and B2C levels.
• Creation of state funded sales support networks, which can have public private partnerships.
Before leaving readers with these recommendations, I would like to ask a simple, thought-provoking question: “How will the rapid growth of electric vehicles affect the demand for crude oil over the next few years?”