Kunal is currently working for the core leadership team at LectrixEV. The company was primarily his brainchild and got acquired by the SAR Group a year ago. He is an engineering graduate from Delhi College of Engineering and brings a touch of innovation for the growing EV sector of the country. He engaged in a conversation with the Industry Outlook magazine in order to provide the answers that the E-mobility market is looking for.
The electric mobility market size is projected to hit around USD 2784.76 billion by 2032 with a CAGR of 22%. How has the market in India evolved with respect to this and what are the changes it has undergone in the last five years?
Over the past 5-7 years, the EV sector has experienced unprecedented growth and is poised for further development in the years to come. The market has been growing at a CAGR of 22 percent and will continue to do so. In this regard, the government has also been very supportive and rolling out various scheme and subsidies that have been passed down to the consumer segment. However, in the long run, the market cannot expect the government to keep supporting it and will need to look for marketing strategies to grow which will be a key challenge in the near future.
Limited energy density and high costs associated with battery technology pose challenges for electric vehicles (EVs). How is the industry strategizing to overcome those?
The battery technology in EV is ever evolving. Not much research has been done in the past on Lithium-ion batteries that are currently in use. In this regard, I feel that every technology has its own course of growth from research to commercial usage to mass adoption. In the same way, the Lithium-ion battery technology has also evolved over time and will be an integral part of the EV industry for the coming 15 years. However, research is currently going on for sodium ion batteries and hydrogen cell technologies that are likely to hit the market in the coming years as a substitute of Lithium-ion batteries. The battery pricing however remains a challenge for the industry as 30-40 percent of the vehicle’s cost is associated with the battery itself. The OEMs are researching to make more improvements from the customer standpoint by increasing the power and range of batteries.
The need for a widespread and convenient charging infrastructure has been a significant problem for the EV industry. What ideas are being implemented by the industry experts in this domain to find a solution to it?
The challenges regarding the charging infrastructure in India are more of a “chicken and egg” situation. On one hand we can see that the companies are unable to invest in creating charging infrastructures with limited number of EVs on the road. In the same way, the consumer segment is unable to invest in EVs without the availability of proper charging systems around. They need to be sure of the availability of proper charging infrastructure. In this regard, we can also see that the government is also planning on taking initiative in order to deploy proper charging ecosystems for the EV industry. We will be able to witness several changes and developments in this space in the coming years.
Despite improvements in battery technology, the fear of running out of battery power before reaching a charging station remains a concern for consumers at large. In this regard, what are the companies in the EV sector doing to increase the driving range of EVs?
Two kinds of development are on the way regarding this challenge. First is from a Lithium-ion battery standpoint and second is in the sector of other battery technologies that are being currently researched upon. Companies are working towards increasing the driving range of batteries using advanced software. OEMs are working on a battery intelligence platform that will be able to create timely reports on the battery performance and optimize its operations thus providing more transparency of use for the consumer. This optimization will be done strictly from a data standpoint where the system will collect data on the usage of the battery. ML led models for this are also being researched upon in order to improve the overall efficiency of batteries.
The upfront cost of electric vehicles is often higher than that of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. How are the players in the EV segment strategizing to make it cost-effective for the consumers?
In case of the two wheeler segment, the base pricing starts at around 1.2 lakhs. In the petrol two wheeler segment we have the likes of Activa, Jupiter and Access that are around 1 lakh. Vey soon we will be seeing that the EV players are also coming up with prices that can compete with the petrol two wheeler range and we can already see that products have been launched by players that start from 90 thousand price point.