Moving forward into the 'green age' of humanity, the most scrutinized aspect of any product or service is its impact on the environment. Consumers are much more likely to pick products with sustainable credentials than ever before, and the rhetoric for EV adoption has taken full advantage of this. Governments have been quick to play up this rhetoric, with Indian Governments at central and local levels offering purchase and manufacturing subsidies on electric vehicles. The argument for these subsidies is very simple, EVs are better for the environment, and hence, adoption of them is essential to save the environment. As obvious as this seems, one must also consider the fact that although EVs reduce air pollution, they cause other forms of harmful environmental damage, especially while mining Lithium for batteries.
The answer, like any question of interest, is multifaceted.
EVs boost the country's economy by lowering gasoline prices and moving usage away from imported oil and towards more locally produced power. This is especially important in India, where 84% of our oil is imported. These fuel savings translate into increased disposable money, which will be spent mostly in the local economy, therefore creating new employment in the country. At greater levels of market penetration, the fuel savings from EVs might result in the creation of thousands of jobs in India in the coming years.
The Indian government exercises high import duties on imported vehicles to encourage local manufacturing. Setting up manufacturing plants in India is in manufacturers' best interests to capitalize on the huge market for automobiles here. With abundant natural and human resources, India aims to position itself as 'the place' for EV Development and Manufacturing. This bodes well for the future as EV demand will continue to increase around the world.
According to independent research issued by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), India could save more than INR 1 lakh crore (USD 14 billion) per year if EVs capture 30% of India's new vehicle sales by 2030. Increased electric vehicle adoption may result in total market size of more than INR 2 lakh crore (USD 28 billion) for powertrain, battery, and public chargers, as well as creating 120,000 new jobs in the industry. In addition, a substantial number of new jobs are likely to be created in emerging areas such as battery recycling, telematics, and allied construction and services.
We all are aware of the benefits of EVs, but one key advantage that the government is using as a selling point for EVs is that of Low Operational Cost. For instance, the Nexon EV costs Rs 0.97/km to run, which is substantially cheaper than the petrol Nexon's Rs 6.12/km. Most owners can anticipate traversing 75,000 km or 15,000 km per year over a five-year period, which is well within the EV's eight-year battery guarantee period. The Nexon EV should cost Rs 72,750 to run over this period, compared to Rs 4.59 lakh for the petrol Nexon.
In the end, even if the inclusion of EVs aids in climate change mitigation, climate change is a linguistic justification presented to the public. The government is pushing EVs into the market for a variety of reasons. The government may be providing incentives to the public along with monetary benefits; however, they must focus on elements that will ensure the success of EV adoption in India, such as charging infrastructure, manufacturing, and innovative battery technology, to mention a few.