While the world is chanting slogans of “Save life, safe life” India is fighting a pitched battle as it is swinging between launching electric cars and postponing the plan for a couple of years.
We know your mind is already brimming with questions – What is the confusion for? Why don’t they just launch the e-car plan? What’s with the trouble?
While the number of question marks inside your mind is all justified right now, let us tell you why ‘Electric Ferarri ya Tel Waali Gaadi’ still needs its fair share of debate!
Is it time for the big shift yet?
The global electric car fleet exceeded 5.1 million, as of 2018. With the grave concerns about climate change and environmental destruction increasing day by day, most countries are turning towards Electric Vehicles. With the Indian government trying to shift to electric cars instead of ICEs by 2030, a large number of EVs have already come into existence in form of cars, scooters, buses and almost all other forms of transport.
Electric vehicles need a proper ecosystem and supporting infrastructure which is not well developed in India. Although the Government is favouring a jump from our regular fuel cars to the battery-operated vehicles, there is still a long way we have to travel before EVs become a common sight in India.
- Charging stations are nowhere in the
How many of you come across a battery station just as much you spot petrol pumps? The ratio is probably not even 1:10, at the moment. If battery powered vehicles are to soon be a part of the automobile industry, a good network of charging stations needs to be the topmost priority.
The different types of chargers and plugs required
for different types of vehicles is the next big question. At least a
combination of 5 types of chargers and connections are needed at every station
and well, establishment of these is not as easy as it sounds.
- Electric cars are twice expensive than petrol vehicles
Each battery-operated vehicle requires the use of Lithium-ion Batteries or LIB. The cobalt used in these is very expensive. But the fact that India is completely unmindful about the sources of lithium and cobalt strikes-off the option of ‘Make in India’. With this, the only option for the provision of the batteries is to import them from countries having an abundance of these elements. Here’s a quick example – Tata’s Tigor petrol sedan costs Rs 5.2 lakh, while its electric variant costs Rs 13 lakh.
Also, the Government is planning to increase customs duties on the batteries to 10% from 2021, the price of electric cars will be sold at doubled rates. And practically, with the slowdown hit in India, it is not a good decision.
- The varying range is another whole-new affair
The EVs have a fixed range, that is they can travel for a limited distance on a charge. While the Indian made models can cover from 110 – 140 km, the two-wheelers are expected to give a range of 150 km. This means that the electric cars will have to be confined to the locality, because of the underdevelopment of power stations.
A halt at every couple of hours following with another hour or two for recharging batteries is not a very feasible solution for localities. Professionals hustling to reach workplaces at office hours, can certainly not afford this early in the morning.
- Unemployment is raising question marks
Unemployment in India has reached an undesirable peak of 6.1% in the financial year 2018, out of which, a decent section operates in the automobile industries. The growth of the electricity-powered vehicles will lead to a further drop in the employment of this sector
A large number of automobile technicians and experts who will be jobless. So, either the government must have a backup plan with decent reemployment opportunities, or they need to reconsider the master plan.
The final cry!
The idea of e-cars has all the fun of the fair until these questions rise to the water level, leaving the room in sheer silence. Whether the present is e-cars or the future, we’ve got to find out as the debate accelerates in the near future.
However, with the hefty amount of investment that it calls for, Indians aren’t on the seventh heaven as yet. Looks like the big shift has a long way to go, just as far as Chandrayaan-2. Hoping for the best, anyway!