- A nascent sector, the electric vehicles space will be at the brunt end of the impact which the novel coronavirus pandemic is having on the Indian economy
- The lack of R&D in India has been an ongoing challenge for the technological advancement of the automotive sector in India, and the EV sector is no exception
- Although an assured eventuality, 100% electrification of vehicles in India will take a significant period of time and some very hard decisions
To get a sense of the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the electric vehicles sector, we spoke with Manuj Khurana – Founder and CEO of NewMo. In his discussion with us, Manuj shared his insights on the challenges and shortcomings that exist in the EV space, as well as the potential impact of the pandemic on the future of the electric vehicles sector.
The complete conversation with Manuj can be listened to in this podcast episode on NewMo and the electric vehicles sector.
Despite all the talk for its promotion, the electric vehicles sector in India never really gathered the steam it should have. Especially going into the COVID-19 pandemic-caused economic slowdown, the sector will now come under a significant amount of stress on account of several factors.
On one hand, the Government has made quite a few provisions in the form of tax incentives and benefits to the EV sector to promote its development and domestic manufacturing. And on the other, the much larger ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles market will require prior attention from our policy makers in order to safeguard the jobs of the much larger workforce employed by the ICE incumbents as well as the significantly higher financial losses that will be at stake. So, it is safe to assume that there might not be financial bailouts for the sector if the economy deteriorates further.
Additionally, a big consumption of EVs in India over the past few years has been in the commercial vehicle space – primarily of shared mobility.
If the fears related to the spread of the novel coronavirus persist, it is possible that there will be a decline in the consumption of shared mobility solutions in urban and semi-urban India. These have been the biggest markets for EV and with a drop in consumption, there is a high likelihood that sales of EVs might get affected as well.
Lastly, the big void that has trickled from the incumbent automotive space into the EV sector is the absence of R&D for technological advancements – be it budget allocation or prowess. Thi is not to say that there is no hope for EVs. In fact, given that the sector is at a nascent stage globally and investment interest in India continues – especially from the perspective of it being an emerging economy with the potential for reverse innovation, there is hope.
But as of now, the multitude of factors don’t appear to be working for a revving EV future – at least, not immediately post the pandemic.
Heading a consultancy that advises multi-national companies in mobility solutions, Manuj Khurana – Founder and CEO of NewMo, shared his expert insights into the EV sector. Using the reference of work done internationally in the mobility and electric vehicles spaces, he spoke of areas in which there will continue to remain potential to explore. But most importantly, he shed light on the critical areas of the sector that will take a beating on account of pandemic, as well as highlighted mitigation solutions.
You can listen to the complete discussion with Manuj Khurana on any of our podcast channels below: