Post Event Coverage: EVConIndia

Counterpoint’s Consulting Director, Vinay Piparsania, was a panellist this week on “4 Wheelers-Paving the Road” at EVConIndia, organised by The Blue Circle at Gurgaon, bringing together auto and mobility Industry leaders, investors, start-ups, Government officials and policy stakeholders to discuss the possibilities and future developments for hybridization and full electrification of automobiles.

Following is a summary of different topics which were discussed on mapping the Indian terrain for the adoption of EVs:

  • Discussions and presentations at EVConIndia were focused on how India’s electric vehicle (EV) industry is recreating itself, as per government policies and current market dynamics.
  • The push for EVs is getting more urgent, with the government taking steps to encourage the growth of the EV sector.
  • Unlike the US, Norway or China, India is behind on creating the infrastructure of charging stations for EVs. An urgency can now be felt, with EV charging points coming up in cities like Bengaluru and New Delhi.
  • Potential EV operators and charging infrastructure providers are experiencing challenges associated with a lack of charging and battery swapping infrastructure, due to limited public land availability, long timelines for power connections, and lack of industry standards.
  • Creating a favorable, simple regulatory EV landscape, with appropriate guidance and incentives for ownership and operation, can build confidence amongst OEMs, auto part manufacturers, technology companies and investors to invest in the required infrastructure and technology for electric vehicles.
  • The Ministry of Power’s guidelines suggests all charging stations in India should use three charging standards: the Indian Bharat, the European Combined Charging System (CCS), and the Japanese.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is the nominated central nodal agency to facilitate the installation of charging infrastructure in the country.
  • Charging can be done at home using home-chargers (referred to as private-chargers) or public chargers, that can be installed on streets, parking lots, petrol pumps, or any other public charging spaces.
  • Charging infrastructure can be rolled out on a city-by-city basis, with select cities and regions leading the transition.
  • A smaller battery, will lower costs by reducing the total weight of the vehicle, resulting in higher energy-efficiency and improved ability to upgrade as technology evolves.
  • Personal vehicle options for EVs will, however, require further development, assurances, and accessibility to a reliable infrastructure and broader ecosystem.
  • New business opportunities will also emerge. For example, in the case of charging infrastructure setups shopping/business centres as well as in industrial/institutional facilities and hospitals, much like existing fuel stations.
  • These charging setups could be established either by OEMs, parking lot owners, solar energy enterprises, estate owners, fleet owners and even closed user groups.
  • As a way forward, there are broadly 3 parts to an EV- the battery, the electronics and electrical systems, and the rest of the vehicles. India has significant manufacturing expertise, supply chain, and capacity or the rest of the vehicle. Batteries remain a critical challenge, with India lacking the required resources and supply chain. There is quite some room for innovation and scaling on electricals and electronics.
  • Financing of EVs is a major bottleneck, with their depreciation and residual values not well established, like they are for conventional vehicles.
  • However, long term outlook for electrification of mobility and increased investment in the industry has reinforced PE, VC confidence.

Overall, EVs are the way of the future and the transformation is expected to drive newer business models, mobility experiences and savings for every industry stakeholder in the country.