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EVI Research Highlights the Potential for Electric Vehicles in India

EVs could save 4.8 billion barrels of oil, 270 million tons carbon dioxide (CO2)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

EVI Research Highlights the Potential for Electric Vehicles in India

As vehicle ownership in India is set to rise substantially, EVs offer an opportunity to diversify India’s transportation fuel mix and reduce CO2 emissions. Photo: Flickr/xnmeme

A new report by the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) shows the substantial impact that electric vehicle (EV) deployment would have on India’s oil consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Assessing and Accelerating Vehicle Deployment in India finds that the benefits of EVs in India are greater than expected when real-world driving conditions are taken into account.

The analysis, supported by EVI and carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), is helping to inform the Government of India’s National Mission on Electric Mobility, which sets deployment targets of 5 to 7 million hybrid and electric vehicles in the country by 2020.

Real-world use conditions amplify the benefits of EVs in India, primarily due to the superior ability of electric powertrains to maintain high efficiency in highly transient operation. According to the analysis, which focuses on passenger car EVs, India could save 4.8 billion barrels of oil and 270 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030 if the passenger car EV adoption rates necessitated by the government targets continue into the decade beyond 2020.

“Electric vehicles are one of the most promising technology pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption around the world,” says lead researcher Anand Gopal of LBNL. “As vehicle ownership in India is set to rise substantially, this new study underscores the important opportunity that exists to diversify India’s transportation fuel mix and reduce CO2 emissions.”

The research also finds that EVs could be produced for the Indian market at lower costs, due to the much lower range requirements for urban car users. An EV with a 100-kilometer (km) range is sufficient for more than 99% of trips in India. Hence, when factoring in fuel cost savings from switching from oil to electricity, 100 km EVs could become cheaper than conventional vehicles on a life cycle cost basis prior to 2030. In 2015, the consumer payback period for compact 100 km EVs is 5.6 years, and it is expected to fall as low as 1.8 years by 2020.

Another aspect of the EVI research explored the optimal siting of public EV charging stations in the New Delhi metropolitan region through the novel use of an agent-based simulation, which found that high levels of service can be provided for 10,000 passenger car EVs at a reasonable infrastructure cost of $760,000 (Rs 460 lakhs). Most of these are “slow” chargers, which should meet drivers’ needs if located in the more densely populated and frequented areas of the city.

As in many markets, the consumer acceptance of EVs in India will depend in large part on the adequate deployment of infrastructure needed to recharge EV batteries. Although India was used as a case study, the goal is to offer this advanced modeling platform to any government interested in optimizing the location and level of charging infrastructure in urban areas. “Use of rigorous methodologies like the one pioneered in this work should help national and local governments design EV polices and incentives that are smarter and more rooted in data-driven analysis,” adds Paul Telleen of the Department of Energy, the United States’ representative to EVI. 

The Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI) is a multi-government policy forum dedicated to accelerating the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide. Electrifying the global vehicle fleet is a key component of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) goals of improving energy efficiency and enhancing clean energy supply. EVI seeks to facilitate the global deployment of 20 million EVs, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, by 2020.

The Clean Energy Ministerial is a high-level global forum to share best practices and promote policies and programs that encourage and facilitate the transition to a global clean energy economy.


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