A couple of weeks ago Maharashtra environment minister Aditya Thackeray announced the draft EV (electric vehicle) policy for the state. The aim of the policy was to focus on 4 key areas:
- Ownership of private EVs
- Charging facilities across the state
- Manufacturing of EVs
- Public transport and fleet operators using EVs
The ownership of private EVs is slow because of 2 factors – cost and limited charging facilities. The policy increases the incentives to make EVs more comparable to their ICE (internal combustion engine) equivalents and that should help with sales.
Another issue is range anxiety, nobody wants to get caught with 2% on their battery and not a charging station in sight. So the government is providing incentives for that as well, to boost the number of charging stations so that people don’t have to think about where to get their next charge from.
However, the biggest issue for the state is the manufacturing of these EVs. The policy mentions “formulation of various incentives…” which is a vague as hell. Sadly, Ola Electric is already building their massive EV factory of the future in Tamil Nadu. I would not be surprised if Ola Electric had discussions with the Maharashtra government since Pimpri-Chinchwad (just outside of Pune) is a large automotive belt with factories of Bajaj, Tata and many others. But, in the end they lost out to Tamil Nadu.
Tesla is also looking to manufacture cars in India and has already set up their corporate base in Bombay. I don’t see Tesla making cars for several years so hopefully this will give the Maharashtra government enough time to figure out how to bag a marquee name like Tesla for the state. That will bring many other auto ancillaries to the state and that means even more jobs.
The 4th area of the policy is to get large fleets (public and private) electrified. This is a great way to upgrade the state transport network since many of those vehicles are really bad offenders of polluting the environment.
It’s clear EVs are the future and almost every week there is some new announcement from a manufacturer how they are “all-in”. So much potential innovation in this space, imagine having a solar panel on the roof of your car and never having to plugin, you would truly be off the electrical grid. One day.