Will Covid act as an inflection point for the EV Industry: Opinion


COVID-19 has placed unprecedented challenges for the economic world over. The uncertainty regarding the time to get over from Corona has accentuated the concerns for the economy. The pandemic followed by a lockdown and suspension of economic activity had a few positive fallouts as well. One can see a silver lining in the form of a cleaner environment and greenery all around. The lockdown has given hopes; curbing pollution seems doable now.

Since the transportation sector is a major contributor to air pollution; cleaner fuels are going to notice special attention going forward keeping in mind the clean to keep environment clean. Electric vehicles present one such dominant alternative to polluting vehicles and less efficient heat engines a.k.a ICE vehicles. The pandemic could prove to be the inflection point in the adoption curve of the electric vehicles because of multiple supportive factors.

  1. COVID-19 has introduced a major behavioral change in terms of social distancing. Considering this, the existing public transportation system would not be able to cater to the demand with the social distancing norm in place leading to preference to private vehicles over public transportation. The consumer preference for use of private vehicles having the same operational cost as the public transport could further accentuate the demand for Electric Vehicles.

  2. With technology growing at the speed of lightning, the next 10 years would see increased engine efficiency of electric vehicles, lower charging losses, and improved efficiency of batteries. All these changes would further reduce the carbon footprints of electric vehicles.

  3. Further, the global disruption of supply chains and the potential of high growth of Emobility in India could enhance the indigenization of technologies, localization of supply chain in India, relocation of supply chain members to India, and collaboration of India based supply chain participants with corresponding players present world over especially China.

This implies that despite a speculative and uncertain economic environment, one sector seems to be geared up for a high growth trajectory in the future and that is E-mobility.

The adoption of electric vehicles would require transformative business models. The government’s intervention is also required to spurt the growth of the sector. Aggressive demand enhancing policy reforms, improved ease of doing business, support to supply chain, etc. are some such measures.

It is worth mentioning that the visionary leadership of the Punjab government has already put Electric Vehicles in the Thrust sector providing lucrative incentives for investment in this sector. The existing established E-mobility ecosystem very well supports the growth of the sector. A preapproved Hi-Tech Valley in Ludhiana spread over 380 Acres has been dedicated to the development of a complete ecosystem of E-mobility. The unique one-stop office model and unified investment regulatory authority, Invest Punjab, further supports the ease of doing business in the state.

The disruption caused by Coronavirus poses great uncertainty and the devastation to the world economy but it also presents an opportunity to transform the business on the lines of sustainability in order to preserve nature making E-Mobility a viable solution and direction.

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