Strengths of India Related to E-Mobility
Satyendra Nath Saxena
India is importing a large percentage of petroleum products, and therefore in the interest of national energy security, it is essential for India to reduce the use of petrol and diesel-based vehicles and increase electrical vehicles on roads. Also, due to high levels of pollution in most of the Indian cities due to tail-pipe emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles, switching to electric mobility must be taken with increased efforts by the government and manufacturers. Supported by the policies of the government, there are great initiatives by many public sector and private organizations to gradually increase the number of charging stations for electric vehicles in cities and highways all over India. With availability of improved batteries, controllers and motors at lower costs in the coming 4-5 years, it is expected that the costs of all categories of EVs would come down to be competitive with the petrol and diesel-based vehicles. With ambitious plans of Indian Government to have power generation from renewable energy in the coming 10 years, the power demand for charging of electric vehicles can easily be met only from the newly-added renewable energy sources. Therefore, as discussed in this review paper, there are many positive indicators to support electric mobility in India and certainly, there will be considerable increase in the number of electric vehicles on Indian roads in the next five years.
Keywords: electric mobility; Indian strengths; electric vehicle targets; charging infrastructure; charging power demand; green energy for charging.
Author: NTPC School of Business, Noida, India.
People require local transport for travel to office, educational institution, market, or for medical necessities and recreation. Due to financial constraints of State or Local Governments in India, the public transports (limited number of road transport buses or metro trains) are not in a position to satisfy the requirements of all people. This has led to the people, especially the salaried-class population, going for their personal vehicles (cars or two-wheeler vehicles), as they can easily afford these with availability of vehicle loans from the financial institutions. A large number of young people and ladies prefer to travel by two- wheeler scooters for reaching the destination without facing the crowded public transport.
Many people in India find it convenient to travel by cabs as these are available in a few minutes everywhere in cities due to many “App-based” cab operators, each introducing a large number of vehicles every month. Also, most of the public sector and private organizations are now not keeping cars for their staff and are hiring normal or luxury cars (depending upon the requirement on the coming day) from the “Travel Agents”; whose number is increasing every year in cities. Looking from another angle, the large number of cabs or cars with travel agents is providing self-employment to many people of all ages (having a driving license).
Similarly, there is considerable growth in the three-wheeler auto-rickshaws and three-wheeler electric-rickshaws in India due to the requirement of low-cost transport by the middle-class people. In all large cities, these three-wheelers are available as “pooled” vehicles, providing the “first-mile” or “last-mile” connectivity to most of the office or college-going people at affordable rates. India is the largest manufacturer in the world of all types of three-wheeler vehicles. Again, these three-wheeler vehicles have also provided self-employment as drivers to millions of people in all major cities.
But, the large number of buses and personal or commercial vehicles on roads has resulted in problems of pollution in Indian cities. The Government of India (GoI) is trying to promote electric mobility (or green mobility) in India. For GoI, there are many compelling reasons for this objective.
1.1 National energy security
As the indigenous resources of petroleum are very less compared to the consumption, a large percen- tage of petroleum products are being imported, putting a heavy burden on the balance of payment situation for GoI. The quantity of imported petroleum products is increasing every year due to (a) the overall growth in Indian economy (US$ 2.3 trillion as of November 2019, targeted to grow to US$ 5 trillion by March 2025), (b) yearly increase in Indian population by about one per cent (1.38 billion in Jan 2020, expected to become 1.52 billion by 2030) and (c) a large number of rural people moving to cities in search of livelihood and better life (urban population of 31 per cent as per 2011 census, expected to become 42 per cent by 2030) . But, the political situation in Middle-Eastern countries, from where the petroleum products are being imported, is a cause of concern (for example, gradual reduction in supplies from Iran). Therefore, from the consideration of national energy security, switching to e-mobility at the earliest has become an important matter, so that even with growth of economy and increase in urban population, the consumption of petrol and diesel in India will decrease gradually, reducing the import bill.
1.2 Pollution in cities
The pollution levels in almost all the large cities in India are much above the permissible values and have been deteriorating day-by-day. Apart from the exhaust from chimneys of fossil fuel based thermal power plants, the second major cause has been the tail-pipe emissions from the internal combustion engine (ICE)-driven vehicles on Indian roads. GoI [along with the Government of States / Union Territories (UTs)] is trying to introduce electric buses (in place of diesel buses) for public transport in the next 10 years. But, the major problem of pollution in large cities is due to personal vehicles (cars and two-wheelers). Therefore, if electric cars and two-wheelers of large varieties with modern features (similar to ICE-driven vehicles) are available in Indian cities from reputed manufacturers, then it is expected that the knowledgeable people in large cities will certainly purchase the EVs to help GoI in reducing the pollution.
But for the e-mobility to increase, the major hurdles cited by media reports are: (a) Limitation of EVs regarding distance covered with a fully-charged battery bank; (b) Lack of EV charging infrastructure in cities and highways; (c) Higher initial purchase price of EVs; and (d) Difficulty in meeting the charging power of large number of EVs in cities with growth in the number of vehicles by 2030. Each of these aspects is discussed in the next sections in order to inform the readers that many positive indicators exist in India and there are inherent strengths that will help in realizing the desired growth of EVs in India in the next 10 years.
- DISTANCE LIMITATION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES
During the last 2-3 years, a large variety of battery operated electric cars have been brought out in the market (and available even in India) by many reputed manufacturers, with most of these cars able to travel more than 300 km with a fully-charged battery bank. Some of these cars are given below, mentioning the “Car Model” along with the maximum distance that can be covered with a fully-charge battery bank and the capacity of battery bank:
- Car Model Max Distance Battery Capacity
- Nissan Leaf E+, 360 km, 60 kWh
- Jaguar I-Pace, 370 km 90 kWh
- Chevrolet Bolt, 380 km, 60 kWh
- Audi E-Tron, 400 km, 95 kWh
- Hyundai Kona, 452 km, 64 kWh
- Tesla Model-X, 470 km, 100 kWh
- Tesla Model-3, 500 km, 70 kWh
- Tesla Model-S, 530 km, 100 kWh
Many more car manufacturers (including a few Indian producers) are coming out with car models giving more than 300 km. Thus, there appears to be no limitation regarding the distance covered by the modern battery operated EV for daily travel in large cities and even for inter-city travel. (It must be mentioned that these distances mentioned are under test conditions and would get reduced when travelling with many persons, or with heavy luggage, or on an uphill terrain, or at high speed etc.)
But, regarding the personal cars, the average distance travel of office-going people is less than 100 km. Therefore, such people can go for cars with smaller battery capacity, which would have lower initial cost even with all the other modern features.
- EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE IN CITIES AND HIGHWAYS
As of now, there are very few EV charging stations in the major cities and hardly any on highways in India. In June 2018, there were about 150 EV charging stations in India. Up to Dec 2019, the number of charging stations was about 500 spanning major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. But, the following are many positive developments which would certainly result in a large number of EV charging stations in the next five years.
3.1 Announcement of policies by GoI related to charging infrastructure
GoI has made the following announcements related to policies for EVs and charging stations .
- At least one charging station should be available in cities in a grid of 3 km x 3 km.
- One charging station should be set up at every 25 km on both sides of highways.
- For long-range EVs (like long range SUVs) and heavy-duty EVs (like buses / trucks etc), there should be at least one fast charging station with adequate charging infrastructure at every 100km, one on each side of the highways / road, located preferably within / alongside the EV charging stations mentioned above (that is one every 25 km on highways).
- The charging installations are to be done in two phases; Phase-I (1 – 3 years) and Phase-II (3 – 5 years). In Phase-I, all mega cities with a population of more than 4 million (as per 2011 Census) and all existing expressways connected to these mega cities and important highways connected to each of these mega cities will be taken for coverage. These mega cities are: (1) Mumbai, (2) Delhi, (3) Bengaluru, (4) Hyderabad, (5) Ahmedabad, (6) Chennai, (7) Kolkata, (8) Surat and (9) Pune. The expressways and highways are: (1) Mumbai-Pune Expressway, (2) Ahmedabad- Vadodara Expressway, (3) Delhi- Agra Yamuna Expressway, (4) Delhi- Jaipur, (5) Bengaluru- Mysuru, (6) Bengaluru- Chennai, (7) Surat- Mumbai Expressway, (8) Agra- Lucknow Expressway, (9) Eastern Peripheral Expressway, (10) Delhi-Agra NH2 Expressway, (11) Hyderabad ORR Expressway, and 5 other connected Highways to each mega city. In Phase-II, big cities, like State Capitals and headquarters of Union Territories (UT) will be covered. Further, important highways connected with each of these cities will be taken up for coverage. Government has also notified the type of chargers to be installed at the charging stations.
3.2 Faster adoption & manufacturing of (hybrid &) electric vehicles
“Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles” (FAME-1) scheme was launched in April 2015 by the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises (GoI) for a period of 3 years; but was extended up to March 2019. Then FAME-2 was launched in April 2019, which has an outlay of Rs.100 billion for three years; Rs.15 billion during 2019-20; Rs.50 billion during 2020-21; and Rs.35 billion during 2021-22. Out of this, GoI has earmarked Rs.10 billion in the next three years for setting up 2700 EV charging stations including a sufficient number on major highways . Government has already awarded contracts to the public sector organizations (NTPC, Power Grid Corporation, Rajasthan Electronics & Instrumentation Ltd, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd etc) for setting up 2600 EV charging stations in 62 cities with a million plus population. In addition, with the support of the Central Government, many State Governments have also announced policies for setting up of charging infrastructures in the cities in the respective States. The Central Government has also asked the concerned State / UT Governments to make the lands available for the EV charging stations and to inform the distribution companies (DISCOMs] to make the adequate supply / distribution network available as per the criteria / distances. The appropriate Central / State / UT Governments must give priority to the existing retail outlets of oil marketing companies for the installation of public charging stations.
3.3 Initiatives by many public sector and private organizations
Significant investment is being made by the private sector to manufacture and install EV infrastructure across India. This includes charging and battery swapping technologies. Plans are underway to fuel EVs with clean power, with industry players exploring solar-plus-EV techno- logy in Mumbai and the other major cities. Moreover, the Indian Railways has announced its intention to allocate space for EV charging stations at their station parking lots. Indian Railways authorities aim to invite private sector participation by issuing tenders to create this infrastructure. Public sector units in India have signed several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with DISCOMs to develop dedicated EV charging stations across Indian cities. Many public sector organizations, including NTPC, Power Grid, Tata Power, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) etc and many travel companies have started installing EV charging stations and also planned to go in a big way in many cities. For example in August 2019, Indian Oil Corporation (in collaboration with NTPC) has opened its first EV charging station (with facility for charging up to four electric vehicles) in Greater Noida (UP) and plans to install many EV charging stations over the coming years across cities and highways . Tata Power has set up more than 100 EV charging stations in India and number will be 300 by March 2020 and to more than 700 by March 2021, in order to provide charging stations in cities where a large number of e-cars exist .
In February 2020, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) signed an MoU with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) for setting up 1000 public EV charging stations in the premises of BSNL sites across the country in a phased manner . BSNL would be responsible for providing the requisite space and power connections for installing the charging infrastructure. EESL will make the entire upfront investment on the services pertaining to the MoU, along with the operation and maintenance of the charging infrastructure by using qualified personnel. EESL has already commissioned 300 AC and 170 DC chargers across India, including 66 public charging points operational in Delhi National Capital Region (Delhi NCR).
In January 2020, a MoU was signed between Ashok Leyland and ABB Power Products & Systems to develop e-buses using the latest flash charge technology called as “Trolley bus Optimization System Alimentation” (TOSA) of ABB . “TOSA” Is the fastest flash-charging connection technology that does the topping (charging) of a battery bank of e-buses in seconds even as passengers get on and get off the bus. Besides, it reduces the environmental pollution of the transit systems without affecting passenger capacity or the journey time. When connected to charging infrastructure, the battery bank can be charged with a 600 kW power boost in 15 s. An additional few minutes of charge at the final terminal would result in full charge of the battery bank without interrupting the bus schedule.
In a major push to curb pollution, Gensol Mobility, a part of the Gensol Group, has launched India's first 100 per cent smart electric fleet of 70 cabs “Blu-Smart” in Delhi National Capital Region (Delhi NCR) in January 2019 based on e-Verito of Mahindra & Mahindra . The company has invested Rs.500 million as its capital expenditure, and it has planned to set up a massive charging infrastructure comprising 65 stations. Each station will have the capacity to charge up to 20 vehicles at a time, with 20 charging points. The company has also ensured that there will be a charging station within every five km of radius.
GoI has announced a scheme to supply e-buses to many State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTCs) with subsidized rates. Many State Governments have submitted their proposals and e-buses have already been introduced in many SRTCs. The suppliers of these e-buses have come forward to install charging stations at the e-bus depots to which these buses are being supplied. Also, Ashok Leyland has already provided facility of swapping of battery banks at the e-bus depots in Gujarat.
From the above, it can be expected that there will be a large number of EV charging stations in all cities and highways throughout India in the next 5 years; and the bus depots and people can think of buying the EVs to save the running and maintenance charges.
- COST OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Presently, as compared to its corresponding vehicle based on ICE, the initial purchase price of every type of EV is higher; for which, there are incentives being offered by the Central and State Governments. But, one must consider the “Total Cost” of EV for comparing that with the “Total Cost” of ICE-based vehicles. The ICE-based vehicle has a large number of parts and requires frequent maintenance and replacements of parts, engine oil etc; on the other hand, EV has much lower maintenance cost. The running or operational cost for an EV is only for the energy required for re-charging (or top-up) of its battery bank; which is very small as compared to the monthly fuel cost for the ICE-based vehicle. With the regular increase in price of petrol or diesel, the operating cost of EVs would become lower in the coming years. Further, one must consider the costs related to health of citizens requiring control of pollution, noise etc. Taking it further, there are costs incurred by Indian Government to fight against climate change.
Due to development in technology and large scale production of lithium-ion batteries in many countries and with growth of EVs all over the world, the prices of higher density compact lithium-ion batteries are coming down. Battery prices, which were above US$1,100/kWh in 2010, have fallen by 87 per cent to US$156/kWh in 2019. By 2023, average prices will be close to US$100/kWh, according to the latest forecast from BloombergNEF . As the cost of battery bank constitutes about 30-40 per cent of the initial cost of EVs, It can be expected that the initial purchase prices of EVs would also come down. Further, considerable advances are taking place in power electronics and digital electronics, giving more powerful EV controllers at lower costs. Even more compact and powerful motors have been developed with reasonable cost. Therefore, it can be expected that the initial purchase price of EVs would become competitive in the coming 3-4 years.
- ELECTRICAL POWER REQUIRED FOR CHARGING OF LARGE NUMBER OF EVS
Different media reports and announcements by various Ministries in Indian Government bring out different percentage implementation of e-mobility and varying dates of achieving the targets for each category of EV. The author has taken the reports of NITI Aayog [2, 3] for estimating the number of EVs of different categories by 2030 and for analysis of charging power required for those EVs by 2030. According to those reports, the following are some of the relevant points.
- Government would like to reach EV sales penetration of 30 per cent for private cars, 70 per cent for commercial cars, 40 per cent for buses, and 80 per cent for two-wheelers and three-wheelers by 2030.
- From April 2030, only electric buses and electric cars will be registered.
- From April 2026, only e-cabs will be registered.
It is often mentioned in the media reports that the charging of electric vehicles (EVs) consumes considerable power; and with growth of EVs as per targets of GoI, it would be difficult for electric grid in India to manage the supply for this purpose. The author has tried to analyze the matter to know the real issue.
5.1 Three-wheeler electric-rickshaws
A few years ago, manual-driven three-wheeler rickshaws were being used all over India for movement of people for short distances and for providing “first-mile” and “last-mile” connectivity to people for travelling to nearby markets, bus stands or metro stations. The battery-powered three-wheeler rickshaws (e-rickshaws) were introduced in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games in 2010. But, these gained popularity in India since 2015. Almost 300,000 battery powered rickshaws have now replaced the cycle rickshaws in key markets of the North East, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi and Bihar States of India . These e-rickshaws have become one of the fastest growing segments in India, with a compounded growth rate of 20 per cent in the past four years. The main reasons for this fast growth of e-rickshaws in India have been preference by the middle-class people to make use of this low-rental mode of transport for short distances and opportunity of providing self-owned jobs for people of all ages and even for people with no formal education.
Electric-rickshaw sales were 400,000 units in 2015-16. There is no officially known figure regarding the total number of e-rickshaws in India, because these do not require registration in many states. For analysis of power requirement of e-rickshaws, the “Handbook : E-Rickshaw Deployment in Indian Cities, 2019” has been considered, which mentions the number of e-rickshaws to be about 1.5 million in March 2018 . Assuming a yearly growth rate of 20 per cent from 2018 to 2030, the number of e-rickshaws is estimated to be about 13 million by March 2030.
There are three categories existing in India regarding ownership and charging of e-rickshaws.
- There are some owners of EVs who have their own houses and have facilities for parking and charging of EVs. These EVs are charged by the owners during night time.
- There are some EV owners who live in small rented houses and do not have the facilities of parking or charging of EVs. These drivers are also afraid to keep the EVs on the road due to chances of theft of EV parts. Finding the opportunity, some “Garages” have been set up, who provide the parking and charging facilities to these EVs at night for some monthly charges.
- As most of the EV drivers have migrated from small villages to large cities in search of livelihood, they have poor economic conditions and are not able to purchase the EVs. In the absence of any property to provide surety, they are not able to get loans from the financial institutions. This situation has given rise to “Agents”, who purchase the EVs in bulk directly from the manufacturers and give on daily or monthly rent to the drivers. The drivers will return the EVs at night to the agents’ parking places, where charging of EVs would be done at night.
A report by Institute of Urban Transport  mentions that, on an average in Indian cities, the first two of the above categories constitute about 50 per cent and the third category makes the remaining 50 per cent. But in all the situations, the charging of e-rickshaws is being done at night. “Trio” e-rickshaw of the Indian manufacturer (Mahindra & Mahindra) has been taken here for computation of charging power . This EV has 3.69 kWh of lithium-ion battery bank, required to be charged in 2 hours 30 minutes (2.5 hours). It is assumed that the battery bank is required to be charged by 50 per cent every night.
Charging energy = 0.5 x (3.69 kWh) = 1.845 kWh in 2.5 hours
Power demand of each e-rickshaw = (1.845 kWh) ÷ (2.5 hours) = 0.738 kW
All the e-rickshaws would be put for charging after the driver comes back to home or gives it back to the owner. For this computation, a factor of 30 per cent (out of 13 million e-rickshaws by 2030) is assumed to be charged simultaneously on Indian grid as there are many hours available for charging in the night.
Therefore, power demand on Indian grid = (0.738 kW) x (0.3 x 17,000,000)
= 3,763,800 kW = 3,764 MW = 3.764 GW.
As this demand for e-rickshaws is distributed in a large number of cities, towns and even small places, this would not pose problem for the Indian National Grid (having total installed power capacity in Jan 2020 of about 368 GW, which is expected to become 832 GW by 2030) or for cities and that too in the night time when the other loads are very small.
5.2 Two-wheeler EVs
As per the data for two-wheelers released by CEIC, there were about 187,091 two-wheelers in India in March 2017 . For the purpose of computation of charging load on National Grid, it is assumed that the total number of e-scooters in India in 2030 would be about 8 million. Also, it is taken that the average capacity of the lithium-ion battery pack in each scooter would be about 3 kWh, which when fully charged is sufficient for the running of an e-scooter for the full one day. The employees in the government / public sector / private sector having facilities of charging (taken about 25 per cent of the total electric two- wheelers) can do the charging in the office complex in 2 hours during day time; and the remaining 75 per cent battery bank of electric two-wheelers can be charged in 2 hours during night time at their residences.
With 50 per cent top-up required during each charging, the energy required will be
= 0.5 x (3 kWh) = 1.5 kWh
When charged in 2 hours, the power demand of each e-scooter = (1.5 kWh) ÷ (2 hours) = 0.75 kW.
For 25 per cent of the total e-scooters charged during day time in offices:
Power demand = (0.75 kW) x (0.25 x 8,000,000) = 1,500,000 kW = 1,500 MW = 1.5 GW
For 75 per cent of the total e-scooters (8 million) charged during night time at residences:
Power demand = (0.75 kW) x (0.75 x 8,000,000) = 4,500,000 kW = 4,500 MW = 4.5 GW
The above power demand would be distributed all over India (because two-wheelers are being used even in small places apart from towns, cities and metros). Therefore, the power demand of this magnitude may not be of any problem in 2030 for the National Grid and also in cities or small towns of India both during day time and night hours.
5.3 Electric buses
Although GoI has set a target of 40 per cent e- buses by 2030, it appears to be difficult because there would be 0.2 million buses with State Road Transport Corporations (SRTCs) and 7.8 million buses with private operators by 2030 . As the e-buses are costlier as compared to the diesel or gas operated buses, the private operators would not be able to invest the required huge amount every year to procure the e-buses (even considering the incentives being offered by GoI). Therefore in this paper, it is assumed that GoI will be able to have 40 per cent of EVs (that is 0.08 million) in the fleet of SRTCs by 2030. But for the computation of EV charging load in 2030 on Indian National Grid for the private bus operators, four cases have been considered. It is taken that the number of e-buses in the total fleet by 2030 could be:
Case-A 10 per cent (0.78 million);
Case-B 20 per cent (1.56 million);
Case-C 30 per cent (2.34 million); and
Case-D 40 per cent (3.12 million).
Combining these figures of private e-buses with those with SRTCs (0.08 million), the total number of buses to be charged is expected to become: 0.86 million, 1.64 million, 2.42 million, and 3.20 million for Cases A, B, C and D, respectively.
Assuming that on an average, the e-bus battery capacity is 300 kWh and that each bus requires charging (top-up) of 50 per cent, which would demand (300 kWh) x 0.5 = 150 kWh.
As the number of buses for most of the operators (including SRTCs) is small, each bus would require fast charging (top up) in one hour during day time, so that the e-bus could go back again for the next trip. Thus, charging of each bus during day time demands a power of (150 kWh) ÷ (1 hr) = 150 kW.
Assuming that 10 per cent of the e-buses in India get charged simultaneously, the total number of e-buses to be charged simultaneously on Indian grid would be 86,000 for Case-A; 164,000 for Case-B; 242,000 for Case-C; and 320,000 for Case-D. Therefore, the total charging load on National Grid would be as given below.
Case-A: Total load = 86,000 x (150 kW) = 12,900,000 kW = 12,900 MW = 12.9 GW
Case-B: Total load = 164,000 x (150 kW) = 24,600,000 kW = 24,600 MW = 24.6 GW
Case-C: Total load = 242,000 x (150 kW) = 36,300,000 kW = 36,300 MW = 36.3 GW
Case-D: Total load = 320,000 x (150 kW) = 48,000,000 kW = 48,000 MW = 48.0 GW
For the installed power capacity of 832 GW by 2030, this demand of about 13 GW, 25 GW, 36 GW or 48 GW for the four computed cases may not be of any concern. But, as most of these e-buses will be concentrated in 10 metro cities, each metro city has to provide for the additional EV charging power load of: about 1.3 GW, 2.5 GW, 3.6 GW or 4.8 GW for the four cases. This power demand for metro cities during day time is certainly quite substantial and requires proper planning by the city administrations along with the DISCOMs. Of course, as the number of e-buses in the different cities would not be the same, there would be variations in the power demands in the different metro cities from the GW values calculated. Therefore, DISCOM of each city must estimate the number of e-buses to be charged for the next 5 years and 10 years and plan in advance regarding cabling of 11 kV or 33 kV networks to set-up the substations at the different e-bus depots and plan to supply the required electric power as and when these come up.
5.4 Personal electric cars
Due to public transport being not so convenient, and with availability of large number of models of cars from reputed manufacturers and with easy availability of loans for salaried people, there has been an explosive growth in the number of private vehicles on the Indian roads, giving the problems of traffic congestion on roads and air pollution due to the tail-pipe emission of gases from these petrol/diesel-driven cars, leading to several diseases in the people of all age groups.
The total number of cars in India was about 10 million in 2016 ; and with assumed linear growth rate of 10 per cent per year, it can be said that the number of cars on Indian roads would be more than 37 million by 2030.
In order to have more than 30 per cent e-cars on Indian roads by 2030, the total number of e-cars is required to be more than 11 million. But, with the high cost of electric cars in India compared to the mass-produced petrol / diesel-engine cars, the number of electric cars sold in India  has been just 1,200 in 2017-18 and 3,600 in 2018-19. In India, it is a typical “hen and egg” situation; there is low demand of EVs because the production is low and there are very few charging infrastructures; and the manufacturers are not coming forward because there is low demand. With such low volume sales of electric cars, reaching a target of 11 million e-cars in the next 10 years looks really challenging for the Indian Government. Therefore, for computing the load demand of charging infrastructure for e-cars on National Grid in 2030, here also three cases are considered;
Case-AA where e-cars could be 10 per cent = 3.7 million;
Case-BB where e-cars could be 20 per cent = 7.4 million; and
Case-CC where e-cars could be 30 per cent = 11.1 million.
It is expected that by 2030, a good number of government / public-sector / private-sector organizations will be providing charging points in the office complexes to encourage the employees to purchase and come to offices by e-cars; and so it is taken that about 25 per cent of the total e-cars are charged in the offices with fast charging in one hour during day time. Fast charging is desirable, so that more number of employees can use the limited charging facilities. The remaining 75 per cent of the e-cars (belonging to the shopkeepers, or for the staff of offices not providing charging points) will be charged in the houses in 3 hours during night time.
It is assumed that most of the cars would have a lithium-ion battery bank with an average capacity of 50kWh. With 50 per cent of top-up for the 50 kWh battery bank, the charging for each e-car will consume = 0.5 x (50 kWh) = 25 kWh.
5.4.1 Twenty five per cent charging of personal e-cars in offices during day time
For day time charging in offices in one hour for 25 per cent of e-cars, the power demand on the National Grid will be as given below. Power required = (25 kWh) ÷ (one hour) = 25 kW
Case-AA: (25 kW) x (0.25 x 3,700,000) = 23,125,000 kW = 23,125 MW = 23.125 GW
Case-BB: (25 kW) x (0.25 x 7,400,000) = 46,250,000 kW = 46,250 MW = 46.250 GW
Case-CC: (25 kW) x (0.25 x 11,100,000) = 69,375,000 kW = 69,375 MW = 69.375 GW
Assuming that the above power demand is distributed in 10 major cities, the power demand in each city would be about 2 to 7 GW. This should be added to the power demanded in day time by the e-buses, computed in Section 5.3. The total power demand comes out quite substantial and requires serious considerations by DISCOMs of respective cities to plan in advance the distribution systems.
5.4.2 Seventh five per cent charging of personal e-cars in residences during night time
For night time charging, the percentage of e-cars being charged simultaneously would be small as the car owners may get the charging done for 2 to 3 hours any time from 20.00 hrs to 06.00 hrs. Also with small distances travelled by the personnel cars, the battery bank of cars would not get discharged much and the cars can be charged even after one or two days. Further, the loads in cities during night time are small and additional loads of e-car charging would not be of much problem.
5.5 Electric cabs
There were about 2.5 million cabs in India in 2016 . Here pessimistically, a yearly growth rate of 10 per cent has been assumed for the next 14 years, to give 9.5 million by 2030. With 70 percent of cabs to become electric, the number of ecabs is expected to be about 6.6 million by 2030.
The e-cabs have longer running distance every day and would certainly require charging of the battery bank two or three times during day time at the public EV charging stations in cities. Taking that each e-cab has a battery bank of average of 50 kWh, to get top-up by 50 per cent in 30 minutes (½ hr); Power = (0.5 x 50 kWh) / (0.5) = 50 kW. If it is assumed that about 10 percent of e-cabs are getting charged simultaneously, total charging power for 0.1 x 6,600,000 e-cabs
= 0.1 x 6,600,000 x 50 kW = 33,000,000 kW = 33,000 MW = 33 GW.
This amount of power required in 2030 would not be any problem for the Indian Grid of 700 – 800 GW. But, as the e-cabs are concentrated mainly in a few large cities (say 10 cities), the charging load of 3.3 GW in a city in day time along with the charging load of e-buses (computed in Section 5.3) and of personal e-cars (computed in Section 5.4.1) requires proper thinking by the DISCOM of that city.
Apart from the above, there is an alternative way of computation of charging power for a large city. As mentioned above, GoI has desired EV charging stations in all large / major / metro cities in a grid of 3 km x 3 km. In metro cities, this involves a large number of commercial EV charging stations. For example, taking the case of Delhi NCR (which has some areas of Haryana and U.P. along with Delhi city), the power required in 2030 will be as calculated below.
- Delhi NCR has an area of 55,000 sq km. There must be one charging station in an area of 3 km x 3 km = 9 km2. So, the number of charging stations = (55000/9) = 6111.
- Taking that each car has battery bank of average of 50 kWh, to get top-up by 50 per cent in 30 minutes (½ hr); Power = (0.5 x 50 kWh) / (0.5) = 50 kW
- If there are 10 charging points in each charging station, then power required in Delhi NCR in day time = 10 x 50 kW x 6111 = 3,055,500 kW = 3,056 MW = 3.1 GW, which works out to be nearly the same amount as computed above.
5.6 Analysis of power requirement for charging of EVs (computed in Sections 5.1 to 5.5)
It may be pointed out here that the purpose of computation of power required for charging of the different categories of EVs was done just to get an approximate idea about the range of power (and not the exact GW). The computations done above in Sections 5.1 to 5.5 have clearly shown that the total power required for charging of EVs by 2030 would not be any issue for the Indian grid. Fortunately, GoI has ambitious targets to have renewable energy (RE) generation, and most of the power demand can be met from the power produced by these RE generation. As on Jan 31, 2020, the installed capacity of renewable energy sources (RES) excluding large hydro was 85.908 GW, and large hydro was 45.399 GW. Thus, the total non-fossil based power capacity in India was 131.307 GW . India has set a target of 175 GW of RES (excluding large hydro) and 51 GW of large hydro by 2022; the total becoming 226 GW, which is about 48 per cent of the total installed capacity of 478 GW by 2022. The total non-fossil based power capacity by 2030 is expected to be about 523 GW, which would be about 63 per cent of the total installed capacity of 832 GW in the country. Therefore, the increase of power required for the charging of EVs can easily be met by a much larger increase in RES.
Only point is that the DISCOM of each city must estimate the number of EVs in the next 5 years and 10 years in its area of operation, and compute the approximate amount of power required at different e-bus depots, various public EV charging stations, and at different residential complexes for planning the laying of 11 kV or 33 kV cables in the distribution system. This would ensure that the DISCOM is well prepared to set-up the substation and provide the power required whenever an e-bus depot or public charging station comes up.
5.7 Convenience of battery swapping provided by suppliers
The showrooms of major car manufacturers (such as, Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors etc) can also have the business of “Battery Swapping” at their service stations. Since the number of battery variants is known to these authorized service stations for their cars, they can keep a few number of those battery banks fully charged. When a personal car or cab owner comes to the service centre, their staff can replace the partially-discharged battery bank with a fully-charged battery bank in a few minutes. Swapping the battery bank gives the advantage to the EV owner of saving in time as the swapping can be completed in a few minutes compared to a minimum of one hour even with fast charging. With swapping, the driver does not have to worry about battery warranty, battery life, battery maintenance etc.
As all the buses in an electric bus depot will be from one supplier, the bus depot can purchase about 20-25 per cent spare batteries at the time of purchase of buses and keep those charged. When a bus comes back to depot after a trip, the electrical staff can quickly remove the partially- discharged battery bank and put a fully-charged battery bank in the bus. Thus, the bus will be able to go for the next trip with a stopover of only a few minutes. The partially discharged battery bank can be charged by the electrical staff of the bus depot conveniently with a slow charger.
However, it would not be a profitable business for individuals to start a battery swapping station; which involves high investment required to develop the infrastructure for charging of the discharged batteries received from the customers. To have capability of charging a few number of high kWh batteries, this involves setting up of a high voltage (11 kV) substation along with a transformer, circuit breaker and the other protection equipment. Also, the swap station has to store a few numbers of different types of batteries as required by the customer. This involves expenditure of procuring and storing large varieties of batteries of different capacity and from different suppliers. Due to all these difficulties, battery swapping may not be available commercially as “Swap Stations” except at the showroom or service stations of the car manufacturers.
- OTHER STRENGTHS IN INDIA
Apart from the positive development in India as discussed above, there are other favorable aspects existing, which would help in faster growth of EVs in Indian market.
6.1 Large public and private sector organizations (manufacturing electrical machines, power electronics equipment, batteries etc)
Immediately after independence, India had established a number of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), which have built modern India, which we see today. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has supplied electrical machines, transformers, power electronics equipment etc for most of the power stations and industries. NTPC Ltd has been responsible for setting up most of the large coal-based thermal power plants in India up to 800 MW generator capacities. Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) has established millions of circuit km of EHV AC, HV AC, HVDC transmission systems and substations of millions of kVA. There are many other public sector and private sector manufacturing organizations in India with established production bases to supply all the equipment required for EVs and also financially strong to set up the EV charging stations all over India as has been mentioned in Section-3.
India also has many reputed companies manufacturing lead acid batteries for decades. With ambitious GoI plans related to EVs deployment on Indian roads, manufacturers are coming forward to produce lithium-ion battery banks in India. Most of these suppliers are importing the lithium-ion cells and assembling battery units in India. But now, GoI has made plans to support setting up of a few large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing giga-plants in India and to localize production across the entire EV value chain. The government is in the process of opening tenders to set up a 50 GWh battery manufacturing base with investment of around US$ 50 billion. To support this, the government is offering financial incentives in the form of subsidies and duty cuts, which could include a reduction in minimum alternate tax to half and import and export duty waivers or cuts for eight years. The successful bidder companies must set up production facilities by 2022 and can apply incentives until 2030. The State Governments (where the plant will be set up) must facilitate land acquisition, single-window clearance and environmental clearance. The above mentioned government’s initiative is intended to improve value adding and capacity building to allow India to be self-reliant in achieving its targeted per cent of its road vehicles being electric by 2030. Over a dozen companies ranging from national and international auto component manufacturers to power and energy solutions providers have rolled out their plans to make lithium-ion batteries locally to cash in on the wave for green vehicles in the country. The list includes Exide, Exicom, Amaron, Greenfuel Energy Solutions, Trontek, Coslight India, Napino Auto & Electronics, Amara Raja Batteries, Trinity Energy Systems, Versatile Auto Components, etc.
Many of the above mentioned and other organizations are setting up EV charging stations all over India. Large oil companies have many thousands of petrol / diesel filling stations and have now come up to install EV charging stations in cities and highways.
6.2 Various favorable policies by GoI related to electric mobility
FAME-I and FAME-II, and many other policies of various Ministries of GoI have been announced to encourage e-mobility in India. Some of these are as given below [2, 3].
- In 2010, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) proposed a 20 per cent capital subsidy for EVs that resulted in a big uptake, mostly in the e-bikes segment.
- Under the FAME-I scheme, there were subsidies up to Rs.29,000 for e-bikes and up to Rs.138,000 for every e-car sold. In the three wheeler EV segment, the governmental incentives ranged from Rs.3,300 to 61,000; while in electric LCVs, the same was from Rs.17,000 to 187,000 for every vehicle.
- Under FAME-II, incentives were provided for the purchase of 7,090 electric buses with an outlay of Rs.35.45 billion; 35,000 four- wheelers with Rs.5.25 billion; and 500,000 three-wheelers with Rs.25 billion. The centre plans to roll out an incentive of Rs.10,000 per kW for two-, three- and four-wheelers, based on the size of their batteries.
- Ministry of Power issued a clarification stating that charging of EVs is considered a service, not a sale of electricity, meaning that no license is required to operate EV charging stations.
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced that battery-operated vehicles, both private and commercial, will be given green license plates; all battery-operated transport vehicles will be exempted from the require- ment of permits; and amended Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 to allow driving licenses to be given for age group 16 to 18 years to drive gearless electric scooters and bikes up to 4 kWh battery size.
- Ministry of Finance has rationalized the customs duty for all categories of vehicles, battery packs and cells to support “Make in India” and incentivize uptake of EVs.
- GoI has approved the National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage, which will drive clean, connected, shared, sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives. The Mission aims at creation of a Phased Manufacturing Program for five years, to support setting up of large-scale, export- competitive integrated batteries and cell- manufacturing giga-level plants in India, as well as localizing production across the entire electric vehicle value chain.
- In Aug 2019, Centre sanctioned 5595 electric buses for 64 cities under Rs.100 billion FAME-II Scheme. Gujarat will get 550 electric buses for 5 cities, with Ahmedabad getting 300 buses. Maharashtra will get 725 electric buses for 6 cities. Uttar Pradesh will get 600 electric buses for 11 cities. 300 buses will be given to each of the other cities (Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad). The subsidy will be at least 40 per cent of the e-bus cost. The cities can choose the type of buses depending upon their needs. The buses are in 3 categories: “Standard” (10 – 12 m length); “Midi” (8 – 10 m length); and “Mini” (6 – 8 m length).
- In order to enhance clean mobility in the road transport sector, in Jan 2020, the Department of Heavy Industries has sanctioned 2,636 charging stations for 62 cities in 24 states under FAME-2. The proposals were submitted by 19 public entities. Of these 2,636 charging stations, 1,633 will be fast-charging stations and 1,003 will be slow-charging. With this, the total number of charging stations planned to be installed across select cities in the coming three years has gone up to about 14,000.
6.3 Industry initiatives
According to market estimates, in the financial year 2018, electric two-wheeler sales almost doubled to 54,800 compared to the previous financial year. Electric two-wheelers have been leading the EV market; estimates suggest they account for 98 per cent of India's EV sales (not considering e-rickshaws) . Established and new manufacturers are starting to invest in the Indian EV market through fund infusion, investments in start-ups and expansion plans. Companies are designing and testing products suitable for the Indian market with a key focus on electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers. OEMs have been forging partnerships with the State and City Governments, such as Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru, to augment the public transport system to promote shared mobility. In March 2019, over 100 companies showcased electric vehicles of all types at the India E-Vehicle Show. Similarly in India Auto Expo (at Greater Noida, UP) in February 2020, a large number of companies demonstrated EVs.
BYD makes electric buses locally, the K7 (a 9 meter long e Bus) and K9 (a 12 meter e-Bus), which are both capable of driving 250 km on a single charge. So far, BYD has more than 200 battery-powered electric buses running on road commercially in India. BYD plans to increase its output capacity for electric buses to 5,000 every year from 2,000 now. In India, BYD has partnered Hyderabad-based Olectra for manufacturing and supplying electric buses. Currently, the firm has orders for more than 200 units and is targeting to sell 10,000 units within the next 2 to 3 years. It has two factories covering more than 140,000 square meters, with a cumulative investment of almost US$ 150 million.
6.4 Advantage India regarding small vehicles
The availability and utilization of small vehicles (such as, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, economy- size four wheelers and small three / four wheeler goods vehicles) is unique in India. These small vehicles require different sets of technologies and production capabilities. Therefore, India can develop small electric vehicles that can not only meet the domestic demand but can also be exported to many countries.
India is the largest manufacturer of all types of three-wheeler vehicles. The three-wheeler segment (mostly with ICE) has reported a robust 24 per cent growth in overall volume (sales) in 2018-2019, due to 49 per cent growth in exports. Total sales of three-wheelers during 2018-19 stood at 1.269 million units, against 1.017 million units in 2017-18 . While the domestic sales during 2018-19 saw a 10 per cent growth to 701,011 units as compared to 635,698 units in 2017-18, exports supported domestic sales heavily with 49 per cent growth to 567,689 units in 2018-19, against 381,002 in the year-ago period, said the data from Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). This could be possible primarily due to enormous demand for the low-cost Indian three-wheelers in Asian and African regions. Now, if India can develop low cost electric three-wheelers (both for passenger travel and goods transport), then India will be in a unique position to export a large number of electric three-wheelers also to these countries.
Similarly, if Indian manufacturers can develop compact / economy size four-wheelers with all modern and advanced features, then these vehicles also will be a good product for the export, earning valuable foreign exchange.
- RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN ELECTRIC MOBILITY IN INDIA
7.1 OEMs and dealers could collaborate to increase customer awareness and access to EVs
Globally, a lack of variety in EV models has been linked to weak EV adoption because consumer preferences vary significantly. Further, auto- dealers are often poorly trained to sell EVs or may even discourage sales of EVs in favor of ICE vehicles as the latter are linked to higher mainte- nance and spare parts revenues.
Therefore, it is necessary to educate salespersons and dealerships on the merits of EVs vis-à-vis ICE vehicles. Also, dealers must showcase EVs prominently at showrooms and ensure that test- rides can be readily offered. Further, they must provide information to potential EV customers on where public charging infrastructure is available in their region. OEMs could provide higher sales- linked incentives to dealerships and salespersons for sales of EVs relative to ICE vehicles. In addition, dealers may stock and sell vehicle- compatible EV charging infrastructure at the dealership to ease customer experience. Further, it would be preferable if the dealers could also keep charged battery banks in order to provide the battery swapping facility to the customers, especially for the e-cabs who would not like to wait during busy day time for charging of their EV battery banks.
For e-cabs and private bus operators, manu- facturers should tie-up with financial institutions to provide loans at low interest rates with mini- mum procedural hurdles, so that the owners find it convenient to purchase EVs to improve their business. For these categories of EVs, the daily running distances are more, giving higher benefits due to lower operating and maintenance cost; so that even with higher present day initial purchase cost, the pay-back period is very short. Govern- ment must take initiative to provide funds to financial institutions at low interest rates for financing these commercial EVs. Most e- rickshaws are purchased by “Middle Men”, who give these to poor e-rickshaw drivers on rent. State Governments must come forward to help these drivers in providing loans at very low interest rates for purchase of e-rickshaws and low-income group houses with charging facilities, which would improve the living conditions of families of millions of e-rickshaw drivers.
Presently, there are a large number of “Home Delivery” companies, and more such delivery organizations are coming up every month. The reason for this growth could be that people are finding this “Home Delivery” model convenient, as they are able to check the prices of a large variety of products from different reputed manu- facturers and select the best product with competitive prices. These organizations are employing young people (who can drive two- wheelers) for delivery of the food items or household goods to the thousands of homes in cities every day using petrol-driven motorbikes. These home delivery organizations must be incentivized to have electric two-wheelers to reduce the city pollution.
7.2 Government must support auto industries to change over to EVs
Looking from the side of auto industries, it must be accepted that today, these are all manu- facturing ICE-based vehicles, employing about 30 million people (both directly and indirectly), and account for more than 7 per cent of India’s GDP. The change-over of production from ICE-based vehicles to EVs would require considerable capital expenditure. Therefore, GoI and Governments of States must provide support to these industries in terms of financing and incentives for production of EVs, so that they can gradually reduce the production of ICE-based vehicles and start increasing the production of EVs, so as to meet the targets set by GoI for the different categories of EVs.
The paper has attempted to review the situation in India regarding the growth of e-mobility. Reducing the number of petrol and diesel-driven vehicles and increase in the electrical vehicles on roads have become essential for the Government of India from the considerations of “National Energy Security” and for reducing pollution in cities due to tailpipe emissions from the vehicles. Therefore, as discussed in this paper, the Government is trying to bring out a number of policies and provide support to the State Governments and manufacturers for increasing the number of electric vehicles and their charging stations in cities and on highways; for which, many public sector and private organizations are also supporting the efforts of the Government. Although the cost of electric vehicles is presently higher than petrol or diesel-based vehicles, the development in battery technologies and their increased production due to higher demand would certainly result in reduction in the cost of battery banks and corresponding lower cost of electric vehicles. The Government has ambitious plans to develop renewable energy in the coming 10 years; and therefore, the power demand of the electric vehicles as per the targeted growth can easily be met by the much higher installation of renewable energy plants all over India.
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