Electric Vehicle (EV)
- An electric vehicle (EV) is one that operates on an electric motor, instead of an internal-combustion engine that generates power by burning a mix of fuel and gases.
- An electric vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion.
- An electric vehicle may be powered through self-contained battery, solar panels or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity.
- Electric Vehicles (EV’s) include road and rail vehicles, surface and underwater vessels, electric aircraft and electric spacecraft.
- Though the concept of electric vehicles has been around for a long time, it has drawn a considerable amount of interest in the past decade amid a rising carbon footprint and other environmental impacts of fuel-based vehicles.
- An electric vehicle may be powered through a collector system by electricity from off-vehicle sources, or may be self-contained with a battery, solar panels, fuel cells or an electric generator to convert fuel to electricity.
- Electric Vehicles can play a vital role in combating climate change across the globe by helping to cut down the emissions and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
- There can be no denying that the era of electric vehicles (EVs) is well and truly upon us. With zero tailpipe emissions, EVs are a direct cure for air pollution.
Electric Vehicles – 8 Different Types
- Plug-in Electric Vehicle
- On- and Off-road Electric Vehicles
- Space Rover Vehicles
- Seaborne Electric Vehicles
- Airborne Electric Vehicles
- Electrically Powered Spacecraft
- Range-extended electric vehicle
- Railborne Electric Vehicles
Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV)
- A plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) is any motor vehicle that can be recharged from any external source of electricity, such as wall sockets, and the electricity stored in the Rechargeable battery packs drive.
Plug-in Electric Vehicles can be further categorized into
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles, (PHEVs)
- Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)
- A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a hybrid electric vehicle whose battery can be recharged by plugging it into an external source of electric power, as well as by its on-board engine and generator.
- Most PHEVs are passenger cars, but there are also PHEV versions of commercial vehicles and vans, military vehicles, utility trucks, trains, motorcycles, buses and mopeds.
Battery Electric Vehicles
- A battery electric vehicle (BEV), pure electric vehicle, only-electric vehicle or all-electric vehicle is a type of electric vehicle (EV) that exclusively uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs, with no secondary source of propulsion.
- Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) thus have no internal combustion engine, fuel cell, or fuel tank.
- Some of the broad categories of vehicles that come under this category are trucks, cars,buses, motorcycles, bicycles, forklift etc.
Origin and Increasing Scope in India
- The push for EVs is driven by the global climate agenda established under the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions in order to limit global warming.
- The global electric mobility revolution is today defined by the rapid growth in EV uptake.
- About two in every hundred cars sold today are powered by electricity with EV sales.
- The global EV fleet totals for 1% of the global vehicle stock and 2.6% of global car sales.
- Falling battery costs and rising performance efficiencies are also fueling the demand for EVs globally.
Need for EVs in India
- The Problem of rapid global temperature increasehas created the need for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels and the associated emissions.
- India has committed to cutting its GHG emissionsintensity by 33% to 35% below 2005 levels by 2030.
- Economic development leads to rapid urbanization in emerging nations as rural populations move non-agricultural sectorsin cities creating environmental problems.
- According to a recent study by World Health Organisation (WHO), India is home to 14 out of 20 most polluted cities in the world.EVs will help in tackling this problem by reducing local concentrations of pollutants in cities.
- India imports oil to cover over 80% of its transport fuel.
- EVs canreduce dependence on imported crude oil promoting India’s energy security.
- It will encourage cutting edge technology in India through adoption, adaptation, and research and development.
- EVs manufacturing capacity will promote global scale and competitiveness.
- Promotion of EVs will facilitate employment growth in a sunrise sector.
Clean and Low Carbon Energy
- The shift towards renewable energysources has led to cost reduction from better electricity generating technologies. This has introduced the possibility of clean, low-carbon and inexpensive grids.
Cutting Edge Battery Technology
- Advances in battery technology have led to higher energy densities, faster charging and reduced battery degradation from charging. Combined with the development of motors with higher ratings and reliability, these improvements in battery chemistry have reduced costs and improved the performance and efficiency of electric vehicles.
Why Are EVs Crucial?
Better Energy Efficiency
- Internal Combustion engines will consume fuel even when the vehicle is stationary, whereas in electrical vehicles, the energy is not consumed when it is stationary.
- Electrical Vehicles ‘tank-to-wheels’ efficiency is about a factor of 3 higher than internal combustion engine vehicles
- EVs have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
- Unlikefossil fuel engine vehicles, EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions.
- EVs help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants that contribute to air pollution, smog, and global warming.
- EVs reduce health effects from air pollution as they help reduce harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- This has a direct positive impact on public health, as cleaner air reduces the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
- EVs have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependence on petroleum.
- They can be finely controlled and provide high torque from rest, unlike internal combustion engines, and do not need multiple gears to match power curves. Hence it removes the requirement for gearboxes and torque converters.
- EVs produce lesser vibration and lesser noise.
- Electric motors are mechanically very simple and often achieve 90% energy conversion efficiency over the full range of speeds and power output and can be precisely controlled.
Energy Diversity and Security
- EVs contribute to energy diversity by reducing dependence on oil imports.
- As the electricity grid can be powered by a mix of energy sources, including renewables like solar and wind, EVs offer the opportunity to shift transportation towards cleaner and more sustainable energy options.
- This reduces vulnerability to fluctuations in oil prices and enhances energy security by reducing reliance on fossil fuel imports.
Technological Advancements and Job Creation
- The development and adoption of EVs have spurred technological advancements in battery technology, electric drivetrains, and charging infrastructure.
- These advancements not only benefit the automotive sector but also have broader applications, such as energy storage forrenewable energy sources and grid stability.
- Electric mobility creates jobs and innovation in battery manufacturing,renewable energy, and charging infrastructure.
Long-Term Cost Savings
- Electric vehicles have lower operating costs, as electricity is generally cheaper than gasoline or diesel.
- Moreover, EVs have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance, resulting in reduced servicing and repair expenses over time.
- Electric vehicles can help decongesting cities by promoting shared mobilityand compact design.
- Shared mobility refers to the use of vehicles as a service rather than as a personal asset. This can reduce the number of vehicles on the road and the need for parking space.
- Compact design refers to the use of smaller and lighter vehicles that can fit more easily in urban spaces. This can also reduce congestion and emissions.
- Innovative and futuristic smart EVs for shorter intra-city distances, day- trips, and the like would not need a bigger battery. That means less time to recharge and lower cost.
What are the challenges for EVs?
High Initial Cost
- The upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle is relatively higher compared to conventional vehicles. The high initial cost makes it less affordable for many potential buyers, limiting the demand for EVs.
- In India, the average price of an electric vehicle is roughly INR 13 lakh, which is significantly more expensive than the INR 5 lakh average for fuel-efficient vehicles.
- This cost difference is primarily due to the expensive battery technology used in EVs.
Limited Charging Infrastructure
- In India, the charging infrastructure is still in the early stages of development and is concentrated in major cities.
- The lack of a robust and widespread charging network makes it inconvenient for EV owners, especially for those living in apartments or without dedicated parking spaces.
- It is quite expensive to set up the infrastructure for charging these vehicles, buy the land for charging stations, and buy the components.
- Range anxiety refers to the fear or concern of running out of battery charge while driving. Limited driving range is a significant challenge for EV adoption.
- Although EV ranges have been improving, there is still a perception that EVs may not offer sufficient range for long-distance travel, particularly in a country with vast distances like India.
- The batteries in EVs degrade over time, which can lead to a decrease in range.
Battery Technology and Supply Chain
- The production of lithium-ion batteries, which are a key component of EVs, requires specific minerals and rare earth elements.
- India currently relies heavily on imports for battery manufacturing, leading to supply chain challenges.
- The charging time of EVs is longer than the refuelling time of conventional vehicles, which affects their convenience and usability.
- India depends on China for its electric vehicle parts because China is currently the world’s largest exporter of those parts.
- The manufacturing of such vehicles requires highly technical abilities, which are now in short supply in India. These abilities must be developed on a vast scale.
- The installation of charging infrastructure is challenging in several areas of India due to the inadequate electrical supply.
Unavailability of Materials for Domestic Production
- Battery is the single most important component of EVs.
- Indiadoes not have any known reserves of lithium and cobalt which are required for battery production.
- Dependence on other countriesfor the import of lithium-ion batteries is an obstacle in becoming completely self-reliant in the battery manufacturing sector.
Limited Model Options
- Currently, the availability of electric vehicle models in India is relatively limited compared to conventional vehicles.
- The market needs more options in various segments, including affordable EVs, to cater to diverse consumer preferences and requirements.
- EV production is a capital intensive sectorrequiring long term planning to break even and profit realization, uncertainty in government policies related to EV production discourages investment in the industry.
Lack of Technology and Skilled Labour
- India is technologically deficientin the production of electronics that form the backbone of the EV industry, such as batteries, semiconductors, controllers, etc.
- EVs have higher servicing costs which require higher levels of skills. India lacks dedicated training courses for such skill development.
Electric Vehicle as Way Forward
- EVs willcontribute to improving the overall energy security situation as the country imports over 80% of its overall crude oil requirements, amounting to approximately $100 billion.
- The push for EVs is also expected to play animportant role in the local EV manufacturing industry for job creation.
Opportunities for Battery Manufacturing and Storage
- With recent technology disruptions, battery storage has great opportunity in promoting sustainable developmentin the country, considering government initiatives to promote e-mobility and renewable power (450 GW energy capacity target by 2030).
- With rising levels of per capita income, there has been a tremendous demand for consumer electronicsin the areas of mobile phones, UPS, laptops, power banks etc. that require advanced chemistry batteries.
- This makes manufacturing of advanced batteries one of the largest economic opportunitiesof the 21st century.
EV Charging Infrastructure
- An EV charging infrastructure that draws power from local electricity supply can be set up at private residences, public utilitiessuch as petrol and CNG pumps, and in the parking facilities of commercial establishments like malls, railway stations, and bus depots.
- The Ministry of Power has prescribed at least one charging station to be present in a grid of 3 kmand at every 25 kms on both sides of the highways.
Increasing R&D in EVs
- The Indian market needs encouragement for indigenous technologiesthat are suited for India from both strategic and economic standpoint.
- Since investment inlocal research and development is necessary to bring prices down, it makes sense to leverage local universities and existing industrial hubs.
- India shouldwork with countries like the UK and synergise EV development.
Government Initiatives to Promote EVs in India
- The government has set a target for electric vehicles making up 30 % of new sales of cars and two-wheelers by 2030 from less than 1% today
- As part of the program, 11 cities are receiving subsidies to introduce electric buses, taxis, and three-wheelers.
- Phase II of FAME seeks to give a push to EVs in public transport and seeks to encourage adoption of EVs by way of market creationand demand aggregation.
- Establishment of Charging stationsare also proposed on major highways connecting major city clusters on both sides of the road at an interval of about 25 km each.
- FAME 2 will offer incentives to manufacturers who invest in developing electric vehicles and their components,including lithium-ion batteries and electric motors.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
- Department of Heavy Industry, Automotive Research Association of India are devising design and manufacturing standards of EVs, Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSEs) & charging infrastructure to smoothen the advent of in-house production of EVs.
- National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage
- To promote clean, connected, shared, sustainable and holistic mobility initiatives.The Mission will drive mobility solutions that will bring in significant benefits to the industry, economy and country.
Phased Manufacturing Programme
- To support the setting up of a few large-scale, export-competitive integrated batteries and cell-manufacturing Giga plants in India.
National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020
- It aims to deploy 5 to 7 million electric vehicles nationwide, indicating the importance of government incentives and collaboration between businesses and academia.
Concessions on the GST
- The government levies a 5% GST on electric vehicles. On the other hand, it charges a GST of 28% on internal combustion automobiles.
Go Electric Campaign
- The government launched the Go Electric campaign to promote the use of electric vehicles and kitchen appliances and to ensure the nation’s energy security.
- India has set a very ambitious target to achieve net zero by 2070 at UNFCC COP26.
- To achieve this goal, EVs have a crucial role to play.
- While EVs themselves produce zero tailpipe emissions, the overall environmental impact of electric vehicles depends on the source of the electricity used to charge them.
- If the electricity is generated from renewable sources like solar or wind, the environmental benefits are maximized.