To give an impetus to electric vehicles in the country, the premier think-tank of the country NITI Aayog has proposed setting up of Giga factories in the country.
The government is working hard to push electric mobility in the country in the wake of climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels.
In such a scenario, the NITI Aayog has recommended that all three-wheeler vehicles in the country after March 31, 2023, must be electric, powered either by lithium-ion or other advanced batteries.
Also, it has recommended that all two-wheelers below 150cc must be electric after March 31, 2025.
As part of these recommendations, it has proposed to set up Giga factories in the country.
Giga factories produce lithium-ion batteries at a massive scale. These are in lines of Giga Factories of Tesla company, USA.
The Aayog wants at least three to four factories in the country in the next 2-3 years to supply the batteries and fulfil the demand of the automobile industry.
As this industry is a sunrise industry, India has to develop capabilities to be competitive at the global stage.
If not, the country should depend on imports which is a costly affair.
Already India is projected to import $400 billion worth of electronic goods in the next four years. Adding batteries to this list is detrimental to the economy.
India is already developing capabilities to develop new advanced batteries that can replace lithium-based batteries.
The automobile Industry, especially the two-wheeler segment is opposing the recommendations of the Aayog.
It says that the recommendations are impractical and will disrupt the industry.
As of now, the batteries are not being made in India and are expensive. In such a scenario, turning all two-wheelers to electric is not feasible.
Electric Vehicle Push
There is an urgency seen on the part of the government in pushing electric vehicles and it is rightly so. India cannot afford to burn more fossil fuels as the country will be the most affected due to climate change.
It has already launched the FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) scheme to push the manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country and increase them in the vehicle mix. But, the industry seems to be in a fix.
The industry is skeptical as the adoption of EVs in the country is poor. Also, huge costs are involved in developing the necessary manufacturing capabilities and the cost of batteries has already been mentioned. The proposed Giga factories when fructifies will come to the rescue of the industry. On its part, the industry should stop worrying about disruption and embrace EVs as humanity has no time left.