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In 2020, sale of electric vehicles less than 1% of engine vehicles

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6

Electric vehicle (EV) sale last year was less than 1 per cent compared to that of internal combustion engine vehicles posing massive challenges for the country’s COP21 pledge to reduce the carbon footprint by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 — below 2005 levels.

In its report on “Electric and Hybrid Mobility prospects and Challenges in Automobile Industry” tabled in Parliament on Monday, the standing committee on industry expressed concern at the poor uptake of EV sales 2020-21 and asked for urgent midterm course correction to achieve energy transition goals.

Engine vehicle sales by volume last year was 1,78,95,224 as against 1,58,575 EVs. This translates into 0.8 per cent EV sales over that of internal combustion engine vehicles.

“India, the fifth largest automobile market in the world, is importing crude oil to cover 80 per cent transport fossil fuel needs thereby draining the exchequer and increasing pollution from engine vehicles. The EV ecosystem is still in its nascent stage. The need of the hour is to scale up the transition process to electric mobility,” the panel said.

Electric mobility in India began in 2015 with the launch of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India) Scheme — a two-year plan with Rs 795 crore to support hybrid and EV market development. The scheme was extended on April 1, 2019.

The idea was to promote energy transition from carbon intensive fossil fuels to low energy options and reduce India’s whopping crude oil import bill for fossil fuel needs. The bill was USD 112 billion in FY 2019-2020, equivalent to 4 per cent of India’s GDP.

The transition is also critical with India’s COP21 pledge to increase the share of non-fossil fuels based electricity to 40 per cent by 2030.

Highlighting gaps in energy transition goals, the parliamentary panel said, “FAME 1 scheme in 2015 primarily targeted promotion of EVs in India. The ministry could not anticipate the evolution and adoption of electric mobility which at this point of time demands urgent midterm course correction to see the desired take off in mass adoption of EVs.”

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