Sustainable automotive technologies: The road ahead for e-mobility

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The Indian automotive industry is witnessing a profound change with the exponential growth of the e-mobility market. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy, it triggered a decrease in consumer purchasing power and disrupted supply chains, leading to an overall economic slowdown, which wreaked havoc in the industry. While the diesel and petrol segments were the worst hit, one sector showed surprising resilience to the pandemic - EVs.

The primary objective behind the government’s set-up of at least one e-charging station at each of the fuel pumps across the country is a required boost to electric vehicle (EV) uptake. The number of EVs on the road in India has also started to increase and this has necessitated attention from all stakeholders – original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and utility players. The shift is incomplete without the deployment of futuristic technologies that would deliver disruptive breakthroughs towards an all-electric future. After striving to turn the pandemic-induced crisis into an opportunity, the Indian government has pushed for massive penetration of EVs towards green fuel and electricity. Overall, the government is focusing on various measures, including increasing domestic production, promoting the use of alternate fuel options, energy conservation measures, technology advancement to reduce dependence on imported crude oil. Towards demand for clean mobility, the adoption of large-scale technology has accelerated, especially inthe wake of the pandemic, where people want to have enhanced air quality and a clean environment. Moreover, to align the sustainable development goals (SDGs), aggressive targets are set for rolling out EVs and new commitments are being announced regularly, EVs are finally showing implementation in India to a marked extent. There are many positive signals from the government and industry as it strongly pushes the automobile industry towards e-mobility related to policy, technology, finance and partnerships.

One of the key enablers for the rapid uptake of EVs is the development of widespread charging infrastructure. While India focuses on achieving its commitments, the key stakeholders in the charging infrastructure landscape need to be prepared to undertake several interventions to address the various technological challenges and gaps that currently exist. Overall, there is a need for the industry stakeholder to come together and lay the groundwork to increase the adoption of technology and establish a smooth, effective infrastructure for a truly smart and e-mobilised country in the future.

Saket Mehra Partner, Automotive Sector leader, Grant Thornton Bharat