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Electric Vehicle Laggard India Plans A Top Level Push To Get The Industry Motoring

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India- Electric Vehicle Industry

India has been a major laggard in electric vehicles adoption with only 22,00 vehicles being sold in the country, compared to more than 100,000 vehicles being sold in the U.S. and China. The stock of EVs in India is also miniscule compared to the global EV stock of over 1 million.  The country is also losing on manufacturing and technology required in this exponentially growing industry. It is estimated that almost 1 billion electric vehicles will be running by 2050 using EV technology. China has already built a huge lead in both battery manufacturing as well as electric vehicles. U.S. is also a major technology leader not only in batteries but also in autonomous and EV technology. Compared to China and U.S, India is nowhere.

The government of India has woken up to this fact and a major high powered committee has been formed to give the electric vehicles industry a push. A lofty target of completely going electric by 2030 has been formed. The government also has a policy called FAME and NEEMP but the implementation has been quite tardy.  The budgetary support is only a paltry $30 million which means that the government does not really think that a lot of EVs will be sold. This budget will go only as far as to support subsidies for 1500 cars leaving nothing for electric two wheeler.


Note India is a highly price sensitive country and it also lacks a charging infrastructure. A large section of the population lacks any vehicles forget electric vehicles whose total cost of ownership is quite high as compared to normal petrol or diesel powered cars.  However, there are a lot of advantages of electric vehicles for India.

1)      Reduce pollution which has become a huge issue in cities such as Delhi

2)      Help in fighting climate change and global warming as electric vehicles are more energy efficient and emit less carbon dioxide

3)      Promote domestic manufacturing and also help the integration of renewable energy into the power grid

4)      Reduce oil imports of over $50 billion a year.

There is no doubt that India needs electric vehicles to replace the fossil fuel powered transportation infrastructure given the manifold advantages. However, how much the support that should be given by a cash strapped government, when and to whom are big questions. EVs are expected to become equal to fossil fuel powered cars by 2021 when the prices of lithium batteries fall by another 50%. Should India go all out to support the electric vehicle industry now or should it do later, when the costs have become competitive and the country does not have to spend a huge amount of money in subsidizing. However, the risk is that India will lack the technology and manufacturing if it does not build a strong domestic market for electric vehicles. It needs to take baby steps now to promote this industry and probably go all out in the next few years.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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