July 12, 2016: With the aim to develop a completely new market on reduced costs for renewable energy and greater policy support, Indian solar firms are looking forward to enter electric automobiles industry. A spokesperson from Fortum India Ltd said that the company is looking to start charging stations for electric cars in the near future. An explosion in electric cars is expected since better batteries and large-scale manufacture tends to reduce car prices and since Fortum is the market leader in Norway in administering charging stations, the nation with five million people has 90,000 electric cars, he added.
As per Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), India has sold over 22,000 electric vehicles in 2015-16. Four wheelers accounted for only 2,000 of these, the outstanding chiefly being low-speed scooters, which do not need a registration or a licence to drive. One of the factors that have slowed down large scale implementation of electric cars is the lack of charging stations, which companies are seeking to address now.
Boom in electric cars segment
The government aims to set up six million electric cars on the roads by 2020 and along with the automobile market, is looking forward to invest Rs 24,000 crore to promote the electric cars. In June 2016, Mahindra Reva, Maruti Suzuki, Ford India and Tata Motors came together to develop a supplier base for crucial hybrid and electric car components. An official from Mahindra & Mahindra pointed out that there are a number of activities surrounding electric cars and the result of that is not visible as of now.
One of the key solar power developers, Rays Power Infrastructure is set to expand into selling electric scooters by importing and charging them. According to industry experts, electricity storage equipments, which haven’t made introduced in India yet, is the future. It is expected that electric two-wheelers will enter the market in a grand fashion in the near future and then, electric vehicles will follow suit.
The Fortum spokesperson further said that the company has been holding talks with the existing Indian car makers, who have electric cars in other industries. Some of the core players include General Motors, Nissan Motors, Tesla Motors and Mitsubishi Motors. However, one of the major setbacks for success of electric vehicles in India, is the poor charging infrastructure and hence, Fortum is looking out for opportunities in this regard.