India's government is adopting an aggressive approach towards its efforts to ‘electrify' all cars in the country by 2030. Reports emerging from India - is claiming that a new policy has been drafted by government officials which forces car manufacturers to begin making plans for electrification.
A spokesman for the government said that the new automotive-centered policy that is currently under review will serve as a roadmap for electric vehicles, and added that it is likely the policy will be made public within the next twelve months.
One of India's largest engine manufacturers, Cummins India has announced that it is continuing to invest in research on electric mobility solutions for the country, whilst Hyundai Motor Co has disclosed that it has entered into negotiations with some of its suppliers for components for electric cars.
It represents a growing momentum towards mass adoption of electric vehicles across India. Last year, Ashok Leyland launched an electric bus after partnering with India start-up firm SUN Mobility in order to combine their expertise to develop battery-swapping technology for cars, buses and trucks.
The managing director at Cummins India, Anant Talgulicar, has conceded that convincing the auto sector to be receptive of electrification will remain a challenge, but says it's imperative they do not shirk their responsibilities. In addition to this, he expressed his belief that the mass adoption of electric vehicles will still not happen for a number of years.
He said, "This is going to be a major challenge but it is one we have to embrace and not duck. It will not happen so soon. First we need to demonstrate the technology, and we as a company would be open to acquisitions and partnerships as it would help get access to the technology faster."
Some of the major challenges facing the Indian government's plans for electrification is that the cost of manufacturing electric vehicles are excessive due to the cost of batteries which are still not produced in India, and automakers have also add that a distinct lack of charging stations also make the whole proposition both unattractive and unviable.
However, the government remains undeterred and is determined to push this legislation through and deliver on its goal for electrification by 2030. This was evidenced by a rather stark warning issued by India's Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari - who warned that if car manufacturers fail to start developing their own electric vehicles or alternative solutions, that they will run the risk of being overtaken by policy changes. Gadkari said, "Don't get confused about policy and rules, foray into electric bikes, buses and cars. I won't seek your suggestions over this. You have to diversify.
Earlier this summer, India's government formed a think-tank which produced a 15-year roadmap for electrifying all new vehicles in the country by limiting registration of petrol and diesel cars. It also revealed that it would also introduce incentives and subsidies on the sales of electric cars.
EV sales in India, represents one of the world's fastest-growing auto markets, but analysts have suggested they are negligible compared with the annual sales of over 3 million petrol and diesel cars.
As it currently stands the only domestic electric car manufacturer in India is Mahindra & Mahindra, although many industry experts have predicted that it will be joined by Tata Motors which has previously expressed their interest in the possibility of producing EVs on its existing platform.
Korean car manufacturing colossus Hyundai changed its strategy to launch hybrid cars in India, after learning of the Indian government's plan to aggressively pursue the adoption of electric vehicles. Director of Sales and Marketing at Hyundai, Rakesh Srivastava said that if it can't adopt its existing products in the India market, it will look at developing new EV's for the Indian market.
Hyundai has announced that it has entered discussions with its existing suppliers and that it is also open to forming new partnerships to source components for electric cars. "We would like to take a fresh look because we will need volumes," Srivastava said.