To cut dependence on fossil fuels and achieve green goals, India’s ambitious electric vehicle (EV) programme needs charging stations more than anything else, the Economic Survey said. Besides this, a comprehensive EV policy is to be put in place as India is yet to have one, it said.
“We find that the market share of EVs is positively related to the availability of chargers and larger availability of chargers corresponds to greater adoption of EVs,” the Survey said, adding that in India, the limited availability of charging infrastructure seems to be a major impediment for increased adoption of EVs.
It observed that this relation is seen primarily because of the limited driving range of batteries in EVs. It, therefore, becomes important that adequate charging stations are made available throughout the road networks.
The market share of EVs is only 0.06 per cent in India, when compared to 2 per cent in China and 39 per cent in Norway. Access to fast charging facilities must be fostered to increase the market share of EVs, it said.
The Survey said that with the appropriate policy in place, India can become a manufacturing hub for EVs. “It may not be unrealistic to visualise one of the Indian cities emerging as the Detroit of EVs in the future. Appropriate policy measures are needed to lower the overall lifetime ownership costs of EVs and make them an attractive alternative to conventional vehicles for all consumers,” it said.
On incentives to promote EV adaptation, the Survey had mixed findings. “While a number of studies seem to indicate that incentives have been effective, some studies have indicated their ineffectiveness and have shown that charging infrastructure is a more important determinant of EV uptake,” it said.
India, like many other nations, has incentive programmes to increase EV penetration — the most recent being the implementation of FAME-II scheme from April 1, 2019, with a total outlay of Rs 10,000 crore over a period of three years.