An increasing level of air pollution in Indian cities has been a cause of concern for policymakers. More than 25 Indian cities are within the 100 most polluted cities in the world. The cause of growing air pollution in cities is related to a variety of sources however transport sector makes a significant contribution. The emissions from the transport sector must be minimised. The adverse effects of air pollution on human health and to the economy are well known and therefore to minimise the impact on the environment, policymakers are considering several options. Electric vehicles have been seen as a promising technology option and several national governments have successfully implemented policies to promote the technology. The Indian government is keen to promote electric vehicles as a green mobility option and is also considering it as a viable solution to reduce air pollution in cities.
Globally there are several successes and best practices. For example, China has taken to electric vehicles in a big way for two-wheelers and buses. In the UK, cities like London are giving incentives such as grants to purchase new electric vehicles, exemptions from congestion charges and free or reduced parking charges for electric vehicles in many boroughs.
In India, electric 3 wheelers have been pretty successful, however not much diffusion of electric vehicles has happened within 2 wheelers, 4 wheelers and city bus fleets. Techno-economic assessments, however, show that electric two-wheelers can become commercially viable by 2020 itself and electric 4 wheelers can be a major technology option by 2020 if the government provides incentives and infrastructures for charging are available. A strong climate policy also advances the cause of electric vehicles.
However, the formulation of policies would need inputs in terms of the level of support required, the implication for budgets of government, policy instruments needed and leveraging the private sector. In this study, we address some of these questions, by further understanding the customer perceptions about EV in India, and the market readiness etc. A market study was conducted between May and October 2017 for UNEP-DTU by Sustain Impact, in the city of Hyderabad. Our study provides one of a kind perspective of multiple stakeholders such as Automakers, Component makers, EV Infrastructure companies, Auto Dealerships, Customers and Policymakers, derived from direct interviews of these stakeholders.
The findings of this study were shared at the Urban Mobility in India Conference in 2017 (http://urbanmobilityindia.in/Upload/Conference/e5ef9a6a-5230-4cff-a459-3e83728d8c82.pdf)
In this UNEP-DTU sponsored study, we gained a bottoms-up understanding of EV ecosystem and perceptions of the market players in India. In this study we conducted one on one interviews and scenario exercises with more than 1200 stakeholders belonging to different categories such as prospective consumers, EV owners, auto dealers, bureaucrats, EV component markers, Automakers, Public service providers, etc… Based on their responses, we assessed the consumer awareness, captured their perceptions about EVs, evaluated consumer sensitivity to purchase parameters related to RV, understand the current state of infrastructure, policy atmosphere and barriers to wider adoption of EVs.
Scenario exercises were conducted by presenting the consumer with multiple hypothetical situations, which are created by varying technical, regulatory, market and environmental factors that influence purchase decisions of potential consumers. Analysis of the stated preferences of consumers in these hypothetical scenarios provided insights into the sensitivity of consumers towards these factors how they manifest themselves in a purchase decision.
The study brought out unique perspectives about consumer propensity to purchase Electric Vehicles and factors impacting purchase decisions. The report is available in the public domain at: (http://orbit.dtu.dk/files/141857029/UMI_ELectric_Mobility_Hyderabad_Final.pdf)
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