Electric vehicles to save $60 bn in fuel costs by 2030: Niti

‘Whether one likes it or not electric vehicles (EVs) will happen in India and this is inevitable”.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant is taking no chance in promoting the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). With oil prices perennially increasing, awareness about ecology and atmosphere being discussed and steps being taken to implement clean energy drive, he says India faces the challenge of not wasting anymore time in adopting measures that would reduce the dependence on diesel and petrol. 

In its annual report, India Leaps Ahead: Transformative Mobility Solution, NITI Aayog and Rock Mountain Institute specify that, “Accelerated adoption of electric and shared vehicles could save $60 billion in diesel and petrol costs while cutting down as much as 1 gigatonne (GT) of carbon emissions for India by 2030.” It estimates that the country could save upto 64% of anticipated passenger mobility-related energy demand and 37% of carbon emissions by 2030. At current oil prices this would translate to a saving of approximately Rs 3.9 lakh crore by 2030. 

The idea of electric vehicles is growing in India, both in terms of popularity and  conscience. The very fact that they are cleaner and more efficient makes owning one glamorous. Indians are value conscious and would prefer to choose buying a vehicle that gives them the value for their money. A car running on diesel is economical than a petrol driven one. Though CNG based vehicles are prevalent, it is yet to catch up with the  volumes of diesel vehicles. The cost of EVs is dependant solely on the price of the batteries and the price of a lithium ion battery in the global market costs $250/kWh which translates to Rs 5.7 lakh excluding import duties. Though the cost could justify the lifespan of the battery which operates for 8 years, running a battery-driven car in order to justify the cost/kilometre savings calls for a mileage of 25,000 km in a year which may not seem doable for many Indians. Such limitations need dynamic policy-driven solutions from the government to overcome infrastructural problems in order to bring about a sweeping change in a thickly populated country like India where space and means are gargantuan challenges. Niti CEO too makes a mention of the same in his report. He says, “the challenge is how we do it quickly. How do we do it to scale and size.” 

Noting that the price of a battery is reducing about half once in five years, he opines that “in the next 4-5 years, the electric vehicles even with batteries would not be far more expensive than the petrol or diesel vehicle, while operational cost will be just 20% of that of a petrol vehicle.” He stresses that the government is fully committed to driving this electric vehicles project and EVs will come into India in a big way in a decades time. Emphatically driving home the point, Kant says, that ‘whether one likes it or not electric vehicles (EVs) will happen in India and this is inevitable”.

The Dollar Business Bureau - May 13, 2017 12:00 IST