EVs is a story just a few months old. It is impossible to churn out India-centric EVs in a few months’ time. A car is not a mobile phone – it takes years to develop a car. As far as hybrid is concerned, technology is not an issue — we have the best hybrid technologies globally that we can bring to India. We need a policy that is logical and long-term. A plug-in hybrid car makes far more sense for a huge market like India where the charging infrastructure will take a long time to be set-up. A plug-in hybrid is essentially an EV with a range extender – it can run for more than 600 km. Even the best of electric vehicles have a limited range of 200-300 km.
Tata Motors, which won the tender to supply 5,000 of the 10,000 order for EVs to the government , acknowledges this challenge.
CEOGuenter Butschek said , “The challenge with respect to EVs is less on the engineering side , but establishing a supply chain and charging infrastructure.”
However , a commercial launch of EVs would need more participation from private players in the setting up of infrastructure. It is more to do with investments than a technological solution , because we know what this kind of infrastructure requires.
Maruti Suzuki , which is confident of launching an EV in 2020 , says mass production of fully electric vehicles is going to be a big challenge. The company senses that sales , even after it launches an EV , may depend more on developing the charging infrastructure.