India’s transition to electric vehicles
Going green doesn’t just mean ‘paperless’. It applies to transportation as well. India’s transition to 100% electric vehicles is both apparent and unavoidable. New hybrid and electric cars and bikes are said to be the future of the automotive industry. More and more consumers are moving towards electric vehicles, not only because of the high cost of petrol and diesel but also to do their bit for the environment.
At the CII (the Confederation of Indian Industry) Annual Session 2017, Piyush Goyal, the Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy stated that the Indian government is looking into the possibility of transitioning to electric vehicles completely by the year 2030. A group led by Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India is appointed to build a self-financing model to make this transition possible.
Why is the country’s switch to electric vehicles in the forefront now?
The government is taking steps towards pollution control and energy security. India spends more than Rs 800 crore to import about 80% of its crude oil. Adding to that is the troubling statistic that more than 10 lakh premature deaths occur due to air pollution every year. The government has come up with many policies to facilitate the transition. Maharashtra and Karnataka are two states in India that currently have charging stations for government electric vehicle fleets.
Some auto manufacturers are in the process of increasing the production of electric bikes and cars. One of the steps taken towards the transition is the decrease in the cost of batteries and improvement in the quality of batteries and charging speed. This can help consumers adapt to electric vehicles faster. Private cab service providers are also planning to switch to electric vehicles. Several auto-manufacturers are looking forward to tapping the electric car market share in India.
Challenges in transitioning to electric vehicles
Any transition on a national scale is bound to face social and political challenges; which is why, it is equally important to think about how we can efficiently dismantle the old system. What will happen to the resources involved in the engineering, manufacturing, and research and development of diesel and petrol vehicles? It is crucial to train and adapt the existing workforce to the new technology, so as to avoid loss of jobs on a massive scale.
Sale of electric vehicles in India
So far, less than 25,000 electric vehicles have been sold annually. However, the decrease in the cost of electric vehicles, new policies, and subsidies are expected to increase the demand for electric cars and bikes. Government’s National Electric Mission Mobility Plan (NEMMP) 2020 targets the sale of 60 to 70 lakh hybrid and electric vehicles per year. Thus, by 2020, the aim is to reach a sale of 150 to 160 lakh units. The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme offers incentives to those who purchase hybrid or electric vehicles.
Large-scale adoption of electric vehicles will require support from the government, auto-manufacturers, banks, and insurance companies. While the government focuses on developing policies and providing subsidies to facilitate this transition, auto-manufacturers have to focus on cutting down the cost of electric vehicles. Likewise, banks should offer low-interest two-wheeler and four-wheeler loans to increase the purchasing power of customers. To facilitate the country’s transition to electric vehicles, India’s influential think-tank, NITI Aayog has suggested lowering bike and car loan interest rates on electric vehicles.
Similarly, general insurance companies will have to come up with a whole new host of two-wheeler and four-wheeler insurance products to cover electric vehicles.
Car insurance for electric cars
As per the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, motor insurance is a legal requirement for all vehicles in public spaces in India. In addition to it being a mandate, motor insurance also serves as a supplement to health insurance in the case of hospitalisation of a third-party as a result of a vehicular accident caused by the insured person. When looking for two-wheeler insuranceor four-wheeler insurance for your electric bike or car, you may wonder whether insurance companies provide specialist electric vehicle insurance and how it differs from a standard motor insurance policy.
In India, electric car insurance is still in its development stage. For now, electric cars in India are covered by standard car insurance policies that cover petrol and diesel cars. However, the insurance coverage will have to be adjusted to accommodate the limited cycle of lithium-ion batteries that electric cars run on. Electric cars have lower premium than regular cars of the same size as they come equipped with safety devices to minimize accident risks. In order to get a good deal on your car insurance policy, visit a comparison website to get an instant quote on various policies, and select the one that best serves your need.