Akihiro Ueda is the CEO of Terra Motors, a leading EV company in Asia. He is a strong advocate for electric vehicles and believes that India is poised to emerge as a leader in the EV space. In an exclusive Q&A Session with us, Mr Ueda shares his insights on the Indian EV market, the key drivers of growth, and the role of government initiatives in promoting EV adoption. He also discusses the impact of electric three-wheelers on the economically weaker sections of society and the increasing adoption of EVs on the job market.
Mr Ueda emphasizes the importance of events like the India eMobility Show in promoting and advancing electric mobility in India. He believes that such events provide a platform for the best minds in the EV ecosystem to come together and strike conversations on topics that matter. He also feels that there is an immediate need to plan EV-centric events to facilitate the exchange of ideas, foster effective networking, and form meaningful collaborations to drive innovations.
In this Q&A session, Mr Ueda offers valuable insights into the Indian EV market and the key factors that will shape its growth in the coming years. His insights will be of interest to policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs, and industry stakeholders alike.
#IES: As the CEO of Terra Motors, a leading EV company in Asia, how do you perceive India as a market for electric vehicles, and what are the key developments that have shaped its growth and potential?
Mr Ueda: I believe India is poised to emerge as a leader in the EV space, and Terra Motors is excited to be a part of this revolution. We have always been committed to promoting a green and clean transportation system in Asian countries, and India is a big market for us. In my view, the combination of EV-centric government policies and incentives, improvement in EV charging infrastructure, growing environmental awareness, and the entry of top automakers into the market have shaped the industry.
However, India still needs to scale up EV manufacturing and sales to emerge as a leader in the EV market. Plus, a lot of effort is required to establish an ecosystem that improves access to EV financing and infrastructure and streamlines the supply chain to support the growth of India’s EV industry.
Meanwhile, to contribute to the revolution, Terra Motors India’s team is working to provide sustainable solutions to customers by working closely with stakeholders and industry leaders. We are leveraging our expertise in design, manufacturing, sales, and post-sales services to promote a clean transportation system and boost EV adoption in India.
#IES: How does the adoption of electric three-wheelers impact the economically weaker sections of society in comparison to conventional IC engine-powered three-wheelers? Is sustainability the sole motivational factor for this switch, or are there other compelling reasons driving the shift towards electric three-wheelers?
Mr Ueda: EV-three-wheelers definitely have an upper hand over their IC engine-powered counterparts in generating employment and facilitating savings. Electric vehicle drivers are reported to spend less on fuel when compared to gas-powered vehicles Plus, the cost of operating and maintaining these vehicles is much cheaper, which helps the economically weaker sections of society mobilize their savings. Moreover, the adoption of cheaper EV three-wheelers and access to easy financing are creating lucrative employment opportunities for these individuals and helping them to become self-reliant.
Simultaneously, I have noticed an uptick in demand for skilled drivers, technicians, and mechanics, creating more earning opportunities. EVs’ ability to generate more jobs and affordability as an alternative are further driving the shift towards electric three-wheelers. As more individuals begin to recognize EVs’ economic and environmental benefits, we could expect to see a surge in the demand for electric three-wheelers.
#IES: What role do you believe Government initiatives play in driving electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure development in India?
Mr Ueda: In my opinion, government initiatives and policies are indispensable in driving EV adoption and infrastructure development across the country. We acknowledge the role government initiatives and EV-centric policies could play in encouraging automakers to produce affordable EVs and consumers to switch to them. Moreover, the government has the power to build and support charging infrastructure at length, which is a crucial barrier against EV adoption in India.
For example, under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India, or FAME-II, the government offers manufacturers a subsidy of Rs.10,000 per Kwh on Li-ion Battery packs used in vehicles. Similarly, the policy allows customers to purchase EVs at a lower price, facilitating manufacture and adoption. In addition, I feel the minimized road tax on EVs, GST reduction on EV charger and battery, and the government’s efforts to improve EV infrastructure and research and development (R&D) continues to make EVs affordable and accessible in India.
#IES: How does the increasing adoption of electric vehicles in India impact the job market in the country?
Mr Ueda: The fast adoption of EVs will prove to be a boon for the job market in India both in the short and long term. The demand for EVs is simultaneously creating the need for skilled workers who can shoulder the responsibility to design, manufacture, and help maintain electric vehicles efficiently. This will help in creating new job roles in the EV automaking sectors, including research and development, manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain. Also, the demand for eco-friendly vehicles and public transportation could drive self-employment opportunities for many individuals in the country. It can offer individuals from the bottom end of the income group an opportunity to earn a respectable living. I admit that the growth could slow down the traditional automotive sectors [particularly those involved in internal combustion engine vehicles. Then again, we may expect the shift to be gradual and a catalyst in driving skilled professionals to transition into newer and better roles in the EV space.
#IES: How do you believe events like the India eMobility Show help in promoting and advancing electric mobility in India?
Mr Ueda: Events like the India eMobility Show serve as effective platforms that enable the best minds in the EV ecosystem, including policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs, and industry stakeholders, to come together and strike conversations on topics that matter. Such global events can help industry players like us to position India’s EV market at the center of discussion and accelerate the adoption of EVs in the country. I feel there is an immediate need to plan EV-centric events to facilitate the exchange of ideas, foster effective networking, and form meaningful collaborations to drive innovations. Moreover, the success of EV-centric initiatives provides a much-needed platform for EV stakeholders, including policymakers, manufacturers, and suppliers, to navigate the best ideas and practices. Properly executed events like the India eMobility Show could serve as a roadmap to build awareness about the EV ecosystem and electric mobility, generating excitement around EVs in India.