Top 3 Challenges for Electric Vehicles in India [2021]

While the electric vehicle industry is steadily gaining pace in India with the sudden influx of new EVs, the truth is, the country is still way behind in the race. EVs here are still not as well embraced as they are in many other countries. And we are here to put a finger on the top challenges for electric vehicles in India in 2021. 

Top obstacles to the EV revolution in India in 2021:

1.Charging Infrastructure:

Imagine a scenario where there are just a handful of fuel pumps in your city, and that too if you’re lucky enough to be in such a city! That’s exactly the case with EV charging infrastructure in India. No matter how much the manufacturers push better EVs in the market, it won’t be of any use if the customers have to take extreme efforts just to keep their vehicles charged. 

EVs of today take around 7-9 hours to charge fully. Currently, the expectation is that you set up the charging facility at your home using the standard chargers, and charge your vehicles in advance. There are a few other facilities available, like fast charging or portable charging to ease out the hassle, but those are still not as convenient as just taking a pit stop at a nearby fuel pump. 

Companies like Ather, Ola, Hero, etc. are investing in building a EV charging infrastructure in India, supported by some modest policies by the government. These efforts will certainly be foundational in increasing the adoption rate of EVs in India.

2.Cost of production:

Although electric vehicles have far lesser components than usual fuel-based vehicles, the inability to leverage mass production leads to a higher final cost of the vehicle. Apart from that, as EVs are technology-oriented vehicles, a lot of components have to be imported from countries like China, adding to the overall cost. 

For example, the Li-ion batteries that form the core of the EV, have to be imported from China as India doesn’t have large-scale facilities yet. The batteries form around 40-50% of the total cost of production. 

3.Government Policies:

The Government of India has been trying to address the challenges for electric vehicles in the country by providing incentives to the manufacturers, subsidies to reduce the price for the customers, helping build charging infrastructure, or assisting companies to build development facilities.

The government’s  FAME I and II schemes have been a boon to the manufacturers and buyers, but the policy is far from behind to achieve the set targets. 

Also, factors such as high import tax on EV parts have discouraged global players like Tesla to start producing/selling in the Indian market. In such cases, the cost will get transferred to the customers, making EVs a less attractive option.

The challenges for electric vehicles in India are many, but the crucial ones need to be taken care of on priority. It is important that producers see potential in the segment, and the customers find value. Reduction in production costs, a better-charging infrastructure to facilitate convenience, with the support of the government are critical factors to spark the EV transformation in India.