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The future, they say, is electric and India’s goal of becoming a 30 percent electric mobility-led country by 2030 is one giant step towards this ambitious future. A report by Centre for Energy Finance (CEEW-CEF) stated that India’s electric vehicle market could be worth $206 billion in ten years if it were to achieve its 2030 electric vehicle EV goal. If that isn’t impetus enough to adopt electric mobility, the pollution-free environment we experienced during the COVID-induced lockdown in 2020, definitely is!
The fact is, India has been pushing for EV adoption for many years the increase in the number of OEMs, government moves like tax breaks and subsidies on EV buying, and rising awareness among consumers all point towards our collective intent to switch to clean energy. So how will this intent be actualized in reality? The answer lies in becoming self-reliant or, as our government has put it, in being Aatmanirbhar.
Aatmanirbhar India: The Key To Un-Locking A Sustainable Future Of Mobility
2021 will mark India’s Jubilee year of independence. Our country’s evolution post-independence is an irrefutable testament to what self-reliance can do for a nation. Right after August 1947, the country faced distinct challenges such as food, housing, healthcare, and many more. Our leaders realized that the key to sustained growth across all industries was to be self-sufficient (Aatmanirbhar).
“Fast forward to the 21st century, where ease of mobility is primarily taken care of; we’ve got the manufacturing and consumption down pat”
So, we took inspiration from the valiant `Harit Kranti’, `Shwet Kranti’, and many more nationwide drives that helped us resolve the key identified issues during the first few decades after independence. All these initiatives stemmed from the desire to become Aatmanirbhar by starting to solve problems using domestic resources and overcoming the dependence on foreign elements.
Now, as 2020 presented us with yet another massive challenge in the form of the devastation caused by the novel coronavirus, the country donned its aatmanirbhar armor once again. Across industries, the current call to action is to focus on expanding domestic capabilities and strength-en India’s infrastructure to recalibrate the economy. The same is true for the Indian EV industry.
Looking Inward: The Evolution Of India’s Mobility Space
Over the years, we have evolved as a nation and become a world-leading economy in terms of consumption and manufacturing. In the ’80s, when India began addressing major challenges such as micro and regional mobility, we rapidly shifted gears from imports to local ecosystem development for automotive manufacturing. It was then that the world saw India becoming a major automotive manufacturing and export hub as well as one of the top ten automobile markets across the globe.
Little did we know, that one mantra would lead to giant leaps of progress in just two decades. All we decided was to be Aatmanirbhar when it came to India’s mobility needs and it led to a profound journey of customers depositing their money to book ICE vehicles 4-6 months before delivery to them making online purchases and having their vehicles arrive at their doorsteps. This progress led to us achieving access to mobility at all levels of society with sustainable development at all blocks of the value chain.
Fast forward to the 21st century, where ease of mobility is primarily taken care of; we’ve got the manufacturing and consumption down pat. The next challenge for us, now, is to make mass mobility sustainable – for people, business as well as for the planet. And, in this endeavor, the country is now focusing on self-reliance across three major aspects raw material, component manufacturing, and distribution.
What Does An Aatmanirbhar Sustain-Able Mobility Space Entail?
While localization has been a key goal for the EV industry, this push towards self-reliance in the EV industry evolved into a full-blown movement when import restrictions and lockdowns within the country impacted the industry players in a major way. Leading players realized that an eco-system needed to be created in order for further progress to occur. To understand the importance of self-reliance and how it helps in achieving sustainable mobility, here’s a breakdown of the value chain from raw material suppliers, component manufacturers, OEM’s, distribution, and finally consumers.
Ease of raw material is the first and fore-most requirement of any manufacturing value chain. For the longest time, India has relied on other resource-rich regions to acquire raw materials for the EV space. This must change to promote the lucrative use of domestic raw materials.
To enable mass adoption of electric vehicles, we need to ensure we become self-reliant in component manufacturing. Further-more, we need to ensure technology adoption which is key to the long-term success of self-reliance. The second half of the value chain of local manufacturing is the cost of manufacturing. This is where the entire ecosystem of the EV industry should contribute.
Distribution And Customers
Last but not least is the end consumer of the product. Direct and indirect incentives given to consumers will help to push the demand for domestically manufactured products, which in turn supports the self-reliant mission of India.
With many Indian EV companies moving towards localization of raw materials, the aatmanirbhar plan is not just a pipe dream but a process that is already underway. So, what does the future of an aatmanirbhar EV industry look like? In the post-COVID era, all stakeholders of the EV industry will be looking to forge partnerships with other local suppliers and OEMs. As manufacturing capabilities expand within the country, the quality of local materials will skyrocket, giving rise to a flourishing industry that is in line with the Make in India initiative. As equipment costs go down, and so do the upfront costs of EVs, adoption is sure to rise, ushering in the era of electric mobility.
Source: SILICON INDIA REAL ESTATE