Infrastructure over incentive to promote electric vehicles: Economic Survey

The Economic Survey has quoted studies showing that more than incentives offered to manufacturers and users, good charging infrastructure is key to mass adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). This is because the driving range of batteries in electric vehicles is less, compared to those which run on fossil fuel. 

The suggestion by the chief economic advisor comes at a moment when the industry and the government's policy think tank NITI Aayog have expressed conflicting views about the road map. “We find that the market share of EVs is positively related to the availability of chargers and larger availability of chargers corresponds to greater adoption of EVs. The market share of EVs increases with the increasing availability of charging infrastructure," the Survey said. It said in India, the limited availability of charging infrastructure appeared to be a major impediment to increased adoption of EVs, another being the time taken for completely charging EVs. 

However, despite the challenges, the Survey noted that electric vehicles will be the future in India and even said that the country can emerge as a manufacturing hub of EVs with favourable policy support.  

India can emerge as a hub of manufacturing of EVs, generating employment and growth opportunities. "It may not be unrealistic to visualise one of the Indian cities emerging as Detroit of EVs in the future," it said. Appropriate policy measures are needed to lower the overall lifetime ownership costs of EVs and make them an attractive alternative to conventional vehicles for all consumers.

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