In December 2017, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers came up with a white paper that stated electric vehicles will constitute 40 % for overall new car sales in India by 2030. SIAM predicted 100 % EV sales in India only by 2047.
By 2030, India could see anywhere between 100 and 300 million electric vehicles. 80-85 % of these will be private vehicles, with two-wheelers making up almost 70 % of the mix. Fleet vehicles (taxis, buses and three-wheelers) make up the remaining 15 % of EV population in the 2030s, but will likely demand 50-60 % electricity.
When it comes to starting an EV market, people who position themselves as experts often point to governments that should spearhead change by overhauling their own fleet to set an example for the society.
Like solar and wind in Ontario, until the province decides that EV charger installation and deployment are long-term plans and long-term industries, you will not get efficient installation of EV chargers across the Canadian province.
Similarly in India, comments like this abide in the media, “The government needs to set yearly [EV] sales goals for 5-10 years and meet those goals – no matter what – every year. Without long-term market visibility, investments will not come.”
In August 2017, India’s first-ever EV tender was launched by Energy Efficiency Services Limited: a procurement tender for 10,000 EVs to be used by government departments and agencies. The total number of vehicles used by the Indian government and its agencies is estimated at 500,000.
Karnataka is the first state to have an EV policy in India. It remains to be seen if the Indian national government comes up with an EV charger policy any time soon. India’s national government says the objective of the National E-Mobility Programme is to provide an impetus to the entire e-mobility ecosystem including electric vehicle manufacturers, EV charging infrastructure companies, fleet operators and service providers.
Unlike Canada, most Indians don’t have a personal garage. Hence, widespread and company-agnostic public charging infrastructure becomes a key policy choice.
In 2017, the Indian office of ABB, a Swedish-Swiss multinational corporation, submitted a bid to provide 4,500 charging stations in response to a government tender. With presence in almost 10 states of India, Hero Future Energies prepared to compete.
Oleh Martychenko of R&S Quantum, a Ukrainian EV charger manufacturer, estimates that as many electric vehicle chargers will at some stage be deployed in the world as the number of gas station pumps today.
The New Delhi-based state-owned enterprise National Thermal Power Corporation reportedly installed two EV charging stations at its offices in Noida and Delhi. NTPC announced a plan to develop 20 more EV charging stations in the national capital region.
India’s grid capabilities and distribution capacity
EVs could add up to 50 % to India’s peak energy demand and 3 % to peak demand growth between 2018 and 2030. Even by 2020, the potential loading capacity from the sales of EVs reaches 50-60 GW, which is nearly 10 % of the capacity of all electricity devices and equipment in India across the end-use sectors.
If we assume that peak load utilization of the remaining grid also remains the same, then EVs at 33 % and 100 % sales in 2030 would contribute between 28 % and 50 % to peak load, according to a paper by Brookings India.
Total electricity demand for EVs in India may vary between 37 and 97 TWhs under 33 % and 100 % penetration of EVs in sales by 2030, considering only intra-city (urban) passenger travel. Buses and private cars constitute more than half the demand, followed by three-wheelers, two-wheelers, and taxis. This constitutes a less than 4 % share under all scenarios of aggregate end-use demand projected in 2030.
EVs’ aggregate charging (or power input) capacity in India under scenarios of EV penetration and slow, medium and fast charging regimes could lie anywhere between 334 GW and 1,814 GW in India. This brings volatility to instantaneous demand. Even at 334 GW, EVs will constitute almost 1/4 of aggregate load capacities of electricity devices and equipment across all end-use sectors of India.
In India, EVs will constitute the most significant load by 2030, higher than entire industrial sectors and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning capacities across domestic and commercial buildings.
An urban taxi may do 300 km daily. Fleet vehicles such as taxis or buses will have limited idle time for charging (whether fixed or erratic) compared to private electric vehicles, necessitating more advanced fast charging infrastructure in India. Coupled with higher kilometers travelled and larger battery capacities, this implies — while they will charge faster — fleet EVs will add much more instantaneous load on the grid compared to private EVs.