New Delhi: Seeing the colossal size of Indian auto industry, Rashmi Hemant Urdhwareshe, Director of Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) said that the government’s target of achieving 30 per cent electrification of the entire fleet by 2030 seems difficult. India currently sells close to 25 million vehicles with large share held by two-wheelers.
In an interview with ETAuto during SIAT Conference, she said that there is a dearth of infrastructure and acceptability for this new mobility technology and working on these two will only help in increasing the penetration faster.
“Under the current circumstances attaining 30 per cent electrification in new car sales by 2030 seems a difficult task. Penetration of electric vehicles is not governed by technology rather it requires proper infrastructure and market acceptability” she said.
She further said that EV ecosystem can only be created by means of regulations where stakeholders have to work together with ARAI to develop the required ingredients needed for expansion. “If serious development of EVs has to take place, I think not just ARAI as a testing house but all the stakeholders have to work on the development of requisite material, components, recyclability and skill sets to handle the new types of powertrains,” she added.
Analysing the present status of EV infra in the country, she said that electrification will hit public transport and three-wheeler segments first as the infrastructure development for these two segments is relatively under control, compared to private mobility segment. “As private and personalise mobility depends on government to set up infrastructure, electrification of this segment will take a little longer and that is also a lower priority as of now. The low hanging fruits in this regard are buses and three-wheelers,” she added.
Urdhwareshe reckons that India need to establish a couple of success stories in this space that will help in shaping the consumer sentiments and speed up the adoption of electric vehicles in the country.
“Once we put forth some success stories, I think scaling the target to pan-India would become a feasible task. We have already started working in this direction and talking to state governments in creating a possibility of such stories,” she said.
She also highlighted that her organisation is developing technologies for the three-wheeler segment where the existing fleet can be transformed into electric vehicles. “We are also developing technologies on the three-wheeler segment. This could be a part of success stories for the crowded cities where bigger buses is not the solution. ARAI trying either to converting existing fleets into electric vehicles or replace them with the new electric-three wheelers,” Urdhwareshe informed.
Commenting on the state of electrification in two-wheeler space she said that Indian consumers are more inclined towards high-performance and high-range bikes which the electric two-wheelers makers are unable to provide at the moment at same price. And this situation is giving an edge to their petrol-counterparts. “The cost differential doesn’t justify it for Indian market. Indian consumers prefers a performance bike so as you go higher up the cost also increases. From that point of view two-wheeler segment is still continues to be dominated by conventional petrol,” she underlined.