View: India has a distinct opportunity to become leader in the global electric vehicle revolution

Updated: Jun 7

Even as the PM announced on Friday the new vehicle scrappage policy, underlining the need for India to move towards clean and convenient mobility via ethanol, hydrogen fuel or electric vehicles (EVs), the advent of EVs has already turned the automobile world order upside down.

Tesla is the world’s most valued carmaker. But the EV race is a crowded affair. The usual suspects — Volkswagen, Toyota, Daimler, BMW, Ford, General Motors, etc — are trying to catch up. And then there is an intriguing suspect — Apple. After being at it for years, it may just come out with something on the lines of an iCar in 2025. Even if Apple has never built a car, it’s in the race since EVs have allowed cars to be reimagined in a way to make them computers on wheels, with an enormous amount of data coursing through them.

It is this aspect of EVs that gives India a definite foot in the door. While the big boys fight it out over the lucrative car market, there is an enormous opportunity in the two- and three-wheeler segment. The core technology of motor controllers, energy use optimisation and battery management are the same for four-, three- and two-wheelers. Here, India can be a technology leader.