In an era where environmental concerns and technological advancements converge, the global automotive landscape is undergoing a significant transformation. India, a key player in the industry, has set its sights on embracing electric vehicles  as a primary mode of transportation, taking a stride towards sustainable mobility and reducing carbon emissions. To delve deeper into the evolution of India's electric vehicle industry, its challenges, opportunities, and the driving factors behind this transition, we had the privilege to engage in a conversation with Mr Vikrant Deore, Sr Manager Mahindra Rise

As India journeys towards an electric future, Mr Vikrant Deore's insights provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges, opportunities, and strategies driving the evolution of the electric vehicle industry in the country.

#IES: With your vast experience in the automotive R&D industry, how has the electric vehicle industry evolved in India over the past few years, and  what significant changes have you observed?

Mr Vikrant Deore: Over the past 2-3 years, post government's intention to reduce carbon footprint & reduce dependence on fossil fuels, EV industry has started  developing very fast. In-line with the European auto industry, India is taking the leap to 100% Battery EV instead of hybrid vehicles. Many of OEMS like  Maruti,etc have already stopped Diesel engines and many are moving towards reducing diesel powertrains. This is a good sign of India taking the EV business to the next level.

Majorly R&D on EV vehicles, Research on designing & manufacturing batteries, Infrastructure development for charging has fastened in the last few  years. The awareness & acceptance of the public for EV has grown & sales of EV is booming.

#IES: As a specialist in facility planning for EV, how do you envision the future of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in India? What challenges  and opportunities lie ahead?

Mr Vikrant Deore: The success of EV mainly depends on the easy availability of charging infrastructure and fast charging of the batteries in order to reduce the  traveling time. The current infrastructure in India for EV charging is not as much as is required. So developing the EV charging infrastructure is the  major challenge in upcoming years. Apart from that, the availability of electricity also is a major challenge mainly in rural areas. The government  should take the steps in providing abundant electricity and the subsidy for developing the charging infrastructure. It should be made compulsory  to have the charging station at each fuel station.

The main challenge in India is dependency of coal for producing the electricity, which is also not a green & environment friendly process. So we should adopt clean energy sources like nuclear solar or wind energy for electricity availability.

#IES: India has set ambitious targets for the adoption of electric vehicles. What do you believe are the key factors that will drive the widespread  adoption of electric vehicles in the country?

Mr Vikrant Deore: Adoption of electric vehicles is a very good step towards reducing environmental pollution. However, with the adoption of latest emission  trends like Bs6.2, we have already reduced the environmental pollutants from automobiles by almost 80 to 90%.  More than that there are many automotive areas where the conventional IC engines will still serve for next 15 to 20 years. These are agricultural  tractors, highway trucks, and off highway automotives. Electric vehicles will be more successful for 2 Wheelers 3 Wheelers and small cars within the city.  The usage of cars outside cities is mainly restricted due to availability of charging stations and more time required for battery charging. In today's fast  transportation, the time and availability is a major concern for EV. Also the technology and lithium availability for batteries, dependency of  electronic parts, motors, battery cells from other countries is also a main challenge.7

Currently the dependency of battery cells increases the cost of EVs by 20 to 30% more than ICE vehicles. In the coming future, if the charging time  for the battery reduces drastically and cost of the battery comes down then the affordability of EV will be there. Also the expertise to resolve the  electronic issues during EV maintenance has to be improved.

#IES: As someone certified in ISO 45000, ISO 14000, and ISO 17045 NABL, how are these standards influencing the manufacturing and safety aspects of  electric vehicles in India?

Mr Vikrant Deore: ISO 45,000 and 14,000 are mainly focusing on manufacturing systems towards safety and environmental protection. These standards basically  aim at reducing the hazards and risk to humans while manufacturing and also aims at reduction in the environmental impacts due to hazardous  processes. Someone certified in these systems will definitely help in implementing high standards for human safety and related impact on  environment like air and water pollution,Fire etc. ISO 17045 aims at standardization of testing processes and techniques in order to achieve  international standards of laboratory management systems. Due to this the manufacturing and R&D processes will be at par with international  OEM's for electric vehicles production units.

#IES: As the electric vehicle industry progresses rapidly, powertrain technology is continually evolving. Could you share your insights on the latest  advancements in EV powertrains and how is it contributing to the environment?

Mr Vikrant Deore: With the advent of electronics and software coupled with AI, the EVs are more advanced and futuristic than conventional ICE vehicles. Many new technologies like driverless & automated vehicles, features like regenerative braking, fast charging for batteries, nanotechnology,  supercomputers, etc are used in modern electric vehicles. All these technologies are helping for a comfortable, convenient and user-friendly driver  experience coupled with safety and pleasurable drive. The pollution and the noise levels have gone to almost 0 when electric vehicles are running on  the road.

During Batteries manufacturing processes, the chemicals used like lead and lithium and disposal of the batteries after end of life are still causing  atmospheric pollution. We should also not forget that due to ever increasing electricity demand for EV charging, the load on the thermal power  plants have gone up which also ultimately increases air pollution.

#IES: Events like the India eMobility Show bring together various stakeholders in the electric vehicle industry. In your experience, how do such events  contribute to the growth and development of the electric mobility sector in India?

Mr Vikrant Deore: The growth of any industry depends upon the technical knowledge,expertise and following the latest trends world wide. Shows like India e mobility Show would bring all the stakeholders of the electric vehicle industry under one roof - like EV testing, battery manufacturing, electronics,software,  vehicle testing, vehicle performance, battery and vehicle safety and so on.. In this show various stakeholders can exchange knowledge, know-how with each other. Thus many OEM 's will benefit through such interactions with the positive exchange of the information. All the  stakeholders will be able to deliver faster and technically quality products and this would definitely help in growth and development of the electric  mobility sector in India.