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Will EESL’s(Energy Efficiency Services Ltd India) initiative of putting 1 lac electric cars on the roads fall flat on face?

As per EESL, the Indian government alone has demand for half a million electric vehicles. Switching these (to electric vehicles) will stimulate demand and initiate market transformation.

EESL has agreed to invest close to Rs. 10,000 crore in the state and has also pledged to manufacture over 1 lakh electric vehicles over the next 5 years.This also includes 4,000 electric chargers for various departments.

Looks good, but there may be lots of loose ends. Affordable E cars with performance similar to the fuel cars are perhaps most difficult to produce because of the cost of the batteries that is still very high but likely to go down in 3 to 5 years. Government pool cars unless dedicated to senior officials are usually overused and not very well maintained. In the case of the govt pool cars, many of the E cars may therefore not substitute the fuel cars as there would always be a tendency to send the diesel cars for long routes and reserve the E cars for short errands. Senior officials carry the cars home and may not have access to overnight charging. Range limitations and load carrying capacity may be serious impediments for adoption. The charging stations would probably be installed inside the office campuses and therefore not available for public use.

The country needs to think what is India specific solution and not ape the west. Catalysing large scale adoption of E-two-wheelers would be faster, easier and more impactful and much less drain on the government resources.

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