The Minister for Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari said last week that despite minor speed bumps, the success of India's overall electrification program has been "spectacular". He went on to say that the electric two-wheeler success story has already put India on the global EV map and stated how homegrown start-ups have created a unique niche in the Rs 70,000 price category. This success was not anticipated by legacy two-wheeler manufacturers, he pointed out.
"I had the founder of India's largest two-wheeler company admitting that they didn't take my prophecy seriously three years ago and made the mistake to assume that EVs won't work in India, due to multiple challenges," Gadkari recalled.
According to Gadkari, another factor that will further accelerate the EV transition is the investment by domestic EV players who have targeted lithium-ion battery manufacturing. He said India discovering lithium deposits in J&K is an encouraging development for entrepreneurs who have set up their factories backed by emerging rich component ecosystems that prepare them to handle the brisk sales.
The MoRTH further pointed out that global lithium prices are coming down, and it will help the industry get EV products on par with ICE. Gadkari said global benchmark lithium prices, which were about $90,000 a metric ton in November have steeply dropped by 33 percent to $60,000 a metric ton as of now, with spot prices likely to further depreciate to $53,304/ton.
India is growing much faster than other global auto capitals, and the shift to EVs is expected to further push the growth of the domestic auto industry, the minister said. “India is all set to become the EV and auto capital of the world”.
Do you think Indian two-wheeler makers are picking up pace now? Let us know in the comments.