India is the third largest consumer of energy but the march towards a net zero carbon goal by 2070 hinges on sustainable mobility practices that combine the objectives of ease of travel and ease of living with that of a healthier and greener tomorrow. After over a century of petroleum dominance, the transportation sector is going through a radical transformation. New energy options comprising alternative fuel and electrification are at the forefront of this transformation.

Most automobile OEMs across the globe are actively adapting to rapid advancement in technology, alternative fuels, automation, and digital solutions that create new mobility options and new business models.

While the technologies and fuel that will move people and goods in the future remain uncertain, transportation systems will be more integrated with renewable energy, smart electric grids, smart buildings, and information ecosystems, allowing for greater opportunities to leverage these interconnections.

The Rapid Growth of Renewable Electricity

Keeping into consideration the sustainable development goals, India’s power generation mix is increasingly inclining towards renewable energy. Renewable electricity is thus growing rapidly in India. We are in fact one of the world’s largest producers of modern bioenergy (renewable energy) and envision scaling up its use across the economy. Today, we are at a stage where due to technological advancements, government support, and a growing private sector, solar power plants are cheaper to build than conventional coal ones. 

EV Adoption: A Mindful, Responsible Step

EV adoption is a significant step towards a cleaner, greener India. It is a viable strategy for reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector as an estimated 40 crore customers would need mobility solutions by 2030.

It is estimated that two in every hundred cars sold today are EV. India supports the EV@2030 campaign, thereby aiming for at least 30% of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030. The transition towards EVs is also driven by the global climate agenda propagating the reduction of carbon emissions to limit global warming. Boosting the local EV manufacturing industry will also play a vital role in employment generation.

The Future of Mobility & Battery Storage

The Government of India has initiated promoting investment in the Advanced Chemistry Cell industry through a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme. To further advance this objective, the ‘Core Group on Battery’ for the CII has identified the following four key focus areas for intervention.

  1. Building indigenous manufacturing infrastructure and capabilities to help reduce the dependency on technology imports.
  2. Plugging into the global supply chain ecosystem to build a resilient supply chain within the country and respond to future disruptions.
  3. Building domestic technical capabilities through R&D, innovation and skilling.
  4. Conceptualisation of an innovative circular economy framework that supports the Indian industry to design circular business models.

Connected & Shared Mobility

The ease of travel is closely linked to vehicles that are connected to the ecosystem around it, whether it is for knowing the traffic congestion ahead of time or getting weather reports of the day or simply accessing infotainment while on the move. 

At the same time, consumer preference has also moved to somewhere between public and private transport or what is known as a shared mobility option. 

Charging Infrastructure

It is estimated that India will need about 5 million public charging points at an estimated investment of about US$ 6 billion by 2030. India will need to build ~1-3 million chargers, outside of home charging, by 2030. According to a BIS Research Report, the electric vehicle, battery, and charger markets are expected to witness CAGRs of 53.64%, 58.86%, and 59.58%, respectively, during 2019-2030. EVs will remain confined to urban areas initially but adoption to such an extent will require a ubiquitous network of the public charger as in urban areas in India, private garages are not very prevalent.

The Bottom Line

The transition to clean energy offers vast socio-economic opportunities, with the potential to enable India to reach its zero emissions target. However, the agenda extends way beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is anticipated that India’s ambition for being clean and green will be revolutionary for not only the country but also for the planet. It is thus appropriate to say that India is on its way to achieve its sustainability goals within the set timeline.

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