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Amid soaring fuel prices and government offering attractive subsidies, India could lead in EV market growth

Chandigarh, May 12

Increasing cost of fuel and the attractive incentives being offered by the centre and various state governments for the production and purchase of electric vehicles are anticipated to drive the electric vehicle growth in India. This is evident from the fact that recently, during theIndia Energy Storage Week (IESW)2022,Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport amp; Highway (MoRTH) said that in the next five years, it is expected that all vehicles will be electric.

It is believed that EV market growth in India is expected to be greater than global growth percentages. According to a report, the Indian electric vehicle market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 94.4 per cent from 2021 to 2030, making it recognized asone of the prominentregions in the automotive industry globally. It was valued at $ 220.1 million in 2020.

Further, as of 2021, there were around eight electric vehicle models in the market. Currently, the industry is focusing on reducing the cost leading to a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) that would result in successful penetration in the mass market of India.

According to Sanyam Pusri, technical marketing manager at Samsung SDI America in Michigan, USA specializes in Lithium ion batteries development that are being used in electric cars like (Tesla), If India wants to lead theEV spectrumit would have to focus on three aspects namely Research and development advancement, ways to manufacture cheaper lithium-ion batteries, and control over the raw material supply chain. These are three critical aspects that would dictate the leader in this global market.

Research and development advancement

The cost of Lithium Batteries comprises 30 per cent of the total cost of an EV. Researching cheaper alternative materials can help expand the realm further into the market. Since these batteries carry high energy with them, novel techniques for safety are essential too. As for Longevity, the Lithium Batteries should have a total lifetime of approximately 5 Lakh Kilometers, according to Sanyam Pusri, a graduate from PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh (2017) and a Post-graduate from San Jose State University, California (USA), and now an employee at Samsung SDI. He has done research towards employing low-cost materials and optimizing the electrochemical reactions inside the batteries for greater performance. He focuses his technical expertise on the local US and European automakers (GM, Chrysler, Ford, Audi, BMW, Harley Davidson) for electrifying their fleet.

Setting up local Battery manufacturing

The majority of world economies are shifting towards localizing large Battery manufacturing factories (also called Gigafactories). The primary reason behind this is to cut down on shipping costs, faster manufacturing, and self-reliance aka “Aatmnirbhar”. Since the Indian EV market is in its nascent stage, a 5GWh factory is a good starting point.

Raw material supply

In today’s scenario, the Majority of essential raw materials (Lithium, Nickel, and Cobalt) come from countries like Russia, Australia, Chile, Philippines, Zimbabwe, and Republic of Congo. These are exported to China for processing and Battery makers like (Panasonic, LG energy Storage, CATL, and Samsung SDI) utilize this to manufacture the batteries that are used in the EVs. During a phase of political instability, the supply chain may be disrupted. Therefore, it becomes essential for a nation to secure its own supply chain.

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