Gujarat, WB, UP, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have emerged as the frontrunners of the burgeoning electric vehicle race. According to a report by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), these five states clocked the highest number of EV sales during FY2016-17.
As per the findings of the study, Gujarat topped the list with sales of just over 4,330 units. WB appeared in the second place with sales of 2,846 units, followed by UP which sold a total of 2,467 electric vehicles during the said period.
Rajasthan reported sales of around 2,388 EV units, while Maharashtra came in fifth with sales of 1,926 units.
“In addition, 25,000 e-vehicles were sold across India between 2016-17. The study was conducted on all electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers which were sold during 2016-2017 and are successfully running in the mentioned states,” stated the report.
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Of the total EVs sold in the last fiscal year, nearly 92% were two-wheelers. Electric cars and four-wheelers accounted for less than 8% of the total sales, the study revealed.
Of the 25,000 EVs sold in the country during the last fiscal year, the top five states alone contributed around 13,957 units of electric two- and four-wheelers. Delhi, on the other hand, reported the sale of only about 1,072 electric vehicle units in FY17.
The report read, “Delhi, which initially used to top this list, now, surprisingly ranks 7th with only 1,072 e-vehicles sold.”
Commenting on the slow growth of the electric vehicles industry in India, Sohinder Gill, Director – Corporate Affairs of SMEV said, “As far as other states are concerned, there is a dire need for them to go electric on an urgent basis. It’s good to see so many people supporting this transition and adapting to electric vehicles to curb the alarming pollution levels. However, this is not enough for India. Delhi being the national capital, unfortunately, lags behind these states. Challenges such as delay in subsidies and weak infrastructure need to be addressed.”
Perhaps the biggest indicator of the industry’s sluggish growth is the fact that sales of EVs have seen a mere 13.6% increase in 2016-17. Compared to that, the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles recorded a 37.5% jump in the sales of electric vehicles to around 22,000 units during FY16. As per an earlier report by the lobby group, a total of 16,000 EV units were sold in the fiscal year 2014-15.
As per a recent study by FICCI and Rocky Mountain Institute, transitioning to 100% electric vehicles could help India could help save up to $300 Bn (INR 20 Lakh Cr) in oil imports and nearly 1 gigatonne of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Although the government has been doubling down on its efforts to hasten the adoption of EVs, there are several challenges and obstacles that are slowing down the industry’s growth. While it is heartening to see states like Gujarat, WB and UP embracing the shift to all-electric cars, the drop in electric vehicle sales in Delhi points to the apathy that still festers among Indians when it comes to eco-friendly alternatives to traditional diesel and petrol-powered vehicles.