Future of Mobility – Electric, Autonomous and On-demand

06 Feb 2020

Technological advancements are playing a role in transforming our society, including how people commute from one place to another. The growth of the automotive sector is vital for the overall growth of the country and the sector is likely to contribute over 12% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2026.  

The mobility sector is at the cusp of a major revolution largely driven by changing consumer preferences, the phenomenal growth of ride-sharing and car-sharing, increasing viability of electric vehicles (EVs), and the growth of connected vehicles.

The adoption of new policies like the National Policy on Biofuels, the National Urban Transport Policy, and the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) will play a major role in transforming the mobility landscape of India.

How people commute is changing, driven by a series of converging technological trends. Currently, EVs constitute less than 1% of all the vehicles sold in India. However, the future of urban transportation will be ‘green’ as the Indian auto industry strives to reduce the dependence on thermal or fossil fuels.. The electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler market will witness an upward trend due to the growing need to curb air pollution levels and rising incentive schemes by the government to support the manufacturing and use of EVs.

India plans to go ‘only electric’ in the three-wheeler segment by 2023 and the two-wheeler segment by 2025.  It is estimated that by 2030, at an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8 per cent, India will have around 70 million cars, and while there may be EV penetration of about 30 per cent, most will still be internal combustion engines. Therefore, to bring down the country’s oil imports, it is essential to focus more on EVs, hybrid EVs, and alternate fuels.

EVs can be charged using electric charging stations or using solar panels. A complete transition to electric vehicles would require changes in the urban infrastructure to make it suitable for large-scale adoption of EVs. Due to the ease of installation of solar charging panels, solar-powered charging stations will be ideal for homeowners and commercial buildings.

Electric charging infrastructure should be a part of the blue-print/planning process of residential buildings, shopping malls, convention areas, tech parks, and other facilities that are coming up. Along with battery charging stations, Battery Swapping Operators (BSOs) would play a key role in strengthening the EV eco-system as BSOs will provide an alternate charging option.

The penetration of xEV, electric and hybrid vehicles will also increase in the future due to increased consumer awareness and interest of domestic Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) towards EVs. 

Though the connected car (vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure) market in India is at a nascent stage, it will gain traction as leading OEMs and disruptive start-ups will invest in making the technology suitable for the Indian scenario. The roll-out of 5G in India will be play a crucial role in popularising ‘connected car’ technology.

By 2025, the total shared mobility fleet in India is expected to reach 4.7 million units. Growing smartphone penetration, superior internet connectivity, and a supportive framework for shared mobility will be the key drivers of change. Shared mobility will be the key driver for the robo-taxi market which combines the benefits of autonomous vehicles and e-hailing services.

Advancements in technology for self-driving (autonomous) cars combined with robo-taxis will eventually benefit the users as driver cost can be used by service providers and benefits can possibly be transferred to the users. 

Initiatives like the Future Mobility Show (FMS 2019) by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) provide a common platform for working towards the target of creating sustainable and clean mobility for India by 2030. It sets the agenda for transforming India’s mobility sector by bringing all stakeholders on a single platform for the development of future-ready and environmentally sustainable mobility products and technologies. 

Innovative mobility products and technologies are set to change the future of mobility in a big way.

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