Volkswagen Financial Services- 27 Mar 2018

Indian Auto Industry’s Electric Future

The Indian auto market is on the cusp of a revolution. The Indian government has lined out its focus for the coming decade and it takes special notice about the fact that cars need to go electric. The Indian government set out a plan called FAME - Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles, which essentially lines out the policies for promoting eco-friendly vehicles in the country. 

The objective is to provide incentives to auto-companies to create more electric and hybrid vehicles. The adoption of this technology, when backed by incentives, will only get faster. E-mobility is the need of the hour and governments around the world are waking up to the importance of the same. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is aiming for 40% of new vehicles in India to be purely electric by 2030.

There have been a number of electric and hybrid vehicles that have been launched over the years in India. While the current scenario may have a few hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, it is nowhere near enough to offset India’s fossil fuel guzzling vehicles. Recent research puts the figures to something like 5000 electric cars out of the total 25 lakh annual passenger car sales.

Challenges for Electric Vehicles

One of the biggest problems in setting up an effective electric vehicle network is the lack of infrastructure for charging said vehicles. There are also some serious hurdles when it comes to an electric vehicle’s travel range and cost. One of the most restrictive things about electric vehicles is that they are limited to the city. While some electric vehicles can get 140 km out of a single charge, they continue to be used only within cities. With problems like load shedding and a lack of electric infrastructure around rural India, the challenge of having electric vehicles penetrate rural roads is going to be a challenge for a long time. The lack of a strong government policy is an issue, but definite moves are being made in resolving this deadlock. FAME is one step further towards an electric future.

Electric Car Finance

In developed countries like the US, where electric car penetration is far higher than other countries, 75% of electric vehicles are leased. Electric car markets in developed countries see far higher leasing than regular car markets, which is only 28% for regular cars, while it is 49.5% for luxury cars (USA figures). Also, electric vehicles can earn its owner tax credits, which can further attract more electric car manufacturers to the industry.

Since electric cars have fewer moving parts, the wear and tear they suffer is also far lesser, this could go a long way in making electric vehicles easier to finance. There are, however, a lot of gaps in the information when it comes to the Indian market and electric car finance which are expected to be cleared up by the end of this year.

The Future

There are a number of positives for electric car manufacturers in the near future. Many companies are already laying the groundwork for production facilities. Audi India is ready to launch its first electric car by 2020, and so are several other manufacturers. While the manufacturers are ready to pump in finances towards giving the public the best possible electric vehicles, the success of India’s electric vehicle policy depends on the implementation.

Everything about the electric car, from its feasibility on semi-urban and rural roads to the various car finance options it may present, is dependent on the infrastructure and policy support provided by the government. So far, however, it looks as if India is heading for a completely electrified vehicle network by 2030.