In India, the penetration of EVs in urban areas depends on the acquisition and ownership costs as well as quality of and accessibility to charging infrastructure. The government should work towards developing an environment that encourages the private sector to create charging infrastructure in the country. Another important focus, to boost the EV market, should be on batteries that typically constitute up to half of the vehicle cost and weight. The government should support research activities to develop innovative and low-cost batteries, recycling and reuse of batteries, etc. The NEMMP 2020 (National Electric Mobility Mission Plan) which focuses on battery cells and Battery Management System (BMS) technology as a priority.

Hence, a lot needs to be done by both the government and OEMs to revive and rebuild the Indian EV industry. Electric Vehicles (EVs) have been on the radar of the government and OEMs, globally. However, the scenario of roads filled with electrically operated cars still seems distant. According to the 2015 Global Automotive Executive Survey done by a private firm by 2020, less than one in 20 vehicles is expected to be equipped with electrified powertrains, which may be dominated by full or partial hybrids. The plug-in hybrid and battery EVs are expected to capture a smaller portion of the pie, followed by fuel cell electric cars that have the least share. By 2020, only 0.01 per cent of cars are expected to be equipped with fuel cells i.e. about 16,000 units per annum.

With this backdrop, the Automotive Board of SAEINDIA conducted the Second edition of Blue Ribbon CEO Conclave in Chennai on July 27th from 6.00 PM to 9.00PM at ITC Grand Chola, Chennai during the visit of Dr. Richard Greaves, President of SAE International. Mr. Murli Iyer, Executive Global Advisor, SAE International accompanied the President. At this Conclave, twenty CEOs and heads of Business from OEMs and vendor partners were present to show their continued support to SAEINDIA and share their thoughts and experiences about “Deploying EVs: Innovative Opportunities For Indian Automotive Industry”.

The entire discussion was not limited to, but covered four major aspects:  Innovations in the e-mobility architecture for India; Development of e-vehicle; Development of talent base and Infrastructure and supply chain for e-mobility. M\s ALTAIR Engineering Private Limited sponsored the entire event. The conclave began with auspicious lamp lighting by Dr. Richard Greaves, President SAE International followed by the Opening address by Dr. Aravind Bharadwaj, President, SAEINDIA.

The interesting presentations provoked an active interaction and constructive suggestions on how we should hasten in creation of supporting infrastructure and encourage mass mobility by public transportation (Electric \ Hybrid buses). Battery management and Fuel Cells will have to become user friendly and the state governments should play pro active role by introducing tax incentives to make acquisition attractive for the Gen Next.

Malls, Cinema Halls, Public places should create charging facilities and Night charging should make the vehicle mobile during the day. In the estimated 6 to 7 million Electric / Hybrid Vehicle on the road by 2020 60 to 70% would be 2 wheelers and if achieved, it could be the game changer in the automobile scenario.