HOW TO PROMOTE ELECTRIC MOBILITY IN INDIA

India is one of the key signatory of Paris Climate Agreement 2016 and will need to reduce emission level by 25% by 2030. Government of India is looking to promote electric mobility as one of the key solutions to reduce carbon emission. Niti Aayog (The National Institution for Transforming India), in collaboration with RMI (Rocket Mountain Institute), has recently published a report “India Leaps Ahead: Transformative Mobility Solutions for All". The report details a “leapfrog” opportunity that may allow India to save as much as 1 gigatonne of carbon emissions between 2017 and 2030, and approximately US$60 billion in annual diesel and petrol costs in 2030. These savings are made possible by the synergistic impact of improvements in systems, manufacturing, and shared infrastructure, including better urban design, high-utilization business models, accelerated adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), and other levers. 

The government, both at federal and state level, has tried to push the sale of electric vehicles through varoious subsidy or tax holiday among the public. However, the program has got limited success till date. Some of key reasons for the slow growth are unavailability electric charging infrastructure and limited supply side. There is need to push electric mobility in commercial use or with fleet owners including state road bus undertakings, taxi companies, public enterprise and autorickshaw segment. The government is also pushing in the same direction. The recent example includes the sanction of 25 electric buses to Himachal Pradesh under FAME Scheme and launch of integrated electric mobility solution by Ola in Nagpur. 

There is no doubt that the Government of India is looking to push electric mobility in India. All key ministries are looking to design special scheme for the funding of electric vehicles. However, there is no clear role define by each ministry, leading to overlapping roles and responsibilities. 

Existing Role

Different ministries are working in India to promote the use of electric mobility in India. However, the existing role of each agency is quite overlapping. The government is fully aware that the different ministries are working in Silos. Key initiatives taken by different ministries and departments are:

Ministry of Power (MoP) - Proposing to fund the procurement of electric vehicles in India with a Vision 2030 

Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprise (MoHI&PE) - Currenlty managing FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles)  to give subsidy to users to purchase electric vehicles. The ministry is looking to fund buses to state road transport undertakings on outright purchase or lease model

Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) - Working on "Green Urban Transport Scheme (GUTP)" to encourage the use of electric vehicles, focusing on buses for cities across the country

Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) - Preparing a report on "Move in India" in partnership with World Bank to push state transport undertakings to procure electric buses 

Niti Aayog - Released a report to promote a shared, electric, and connected mobility future to promote clean, affordable, cost-effective, and reliable transportation options. Further, the government has also shifted FAME scheme to Niti Aayog to sync all ministries and work as think-tank

Proposed Model

After studying the international eco-system and current status of India Market, UITP would like to propose the integrated work model for different stakeholders to promote electric mobility in India. Government of India has already shifted FAME Scheme to Niti Aayog to create integrated plan. However, it is important that each ministry should work in their area of specialisation and contributes towards electric mobility in India. The proposed integrated work plan is as follows: 

Ministry of Power (MoP) - should focus on setting up supporting infrastructure including grid connectivity, load to charging stations etc. Further, the ministry should assess the requirement of electricity and heavy loads for charging vehicles. There is still work required on policy on commercial charging station as only Distribution Companies can sell electricity as per Power Act

Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprise (MoHI&PE) - should focus on evaluating various technology options and work towards Standardisation of electric vehicles and charging station. It is very important to ensure that charging infrastructure should be vehicle / model agonistics. MoPHE should be responsible for the setting standards and broader specifications for electric vehicles as per the international practices 

Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) - should focus on working with urban local bodies and Municipal Corporation to identify space availability for charging infrastructure and battery swapping. The ministry should specify guidelines for the charging stations and should give funding for the setting up charging infrastructure. Further, Further, MoUD can also look to amend the building bye-laws to mandate EV charging points as a requirement for building/parking approvals

Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) - should take lead for introducing electric buses, e-taxis and e-autorickshaw across India. The ministry should provide funding to state road bus undertakings, metro system, fleet companies (or individual owners) to buy e-taxis / e-autorickshaws 

Niti Aayog - should work as think-tank for the government of India and should prepare a single budget to meet the requirement of different ministries. Further, Niti Aayog should design an incentive structure for the customers and industry to increase acceptability of electric vehicles. Also, it is important to train the stakeholders to understand the mobility better

There is need to integrated approach to address the key challenges and develop supporting infrastructure to promote electric mobility in India. India still needs to go long way to achieve 100% electric mobility target. It is important to learn from international experience.

As part of initiatives, UITP Centre for Training and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF) conducted training program on Electric Buses for all stakeholders on 24-26 July 2017 at Pune, Maharasthra. Some of the key takeaways training program.