Friday, 31 August 2012

EVs in India: the power problem

As I look around the world and read about the challenges governments, organisations and companies face in attempting to create an EV ecosystem , India stands out from the crowd.

There are few places more noisy and polluted as a result of the internal combustion engine than India's cities. India needs EVs more than most, and the world needs India to need EVs.

How do you electrify transport however when there is not enough electricity for businesses and households. Every day,  five times the population of the UK (around 300 million people) go without power. In one day recently, this number was 700 million people.

The Indian government wants to put 6m electric vehicles on the road by 2020. Most of these will be two wheelers, perhaps 5m of the 6m vehicles. They have just approved a £2.6bn ($4.1bn, Rs23,000 crore) programme to get things moving.

My former company Mahindra Reva has just announced it will start work on an electric two wheeler programme (truth is it has been looking at this for some time) to support its soon-to-be-launched Reva NXR electric car. Now if they could access the huge experience and technology knowhow that exists in the UK to create a recharging network, and the government accelerate their solar and wind programmes, they would have the complete solution. Now that's a challenge.