Our country is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Industrial segments like the automobile sector, textile sector, and agriculture have grown since the nation’s independence. The support and conviction after independence received from government and welfare schemes had given a boost to these segments for steady and progressive growth.
Among these, the automobile industry has flourished like never before because of the demand automobiles had during the British Rule. The Indian auto industry at present is one of the largest globally, both regarding production as well as sales, and it’s about the right decisions taken post independence and the Government of India.
The first car that Indians saw on the road was as early as 1897 and the first Indian to own a car in 1901 was Shri. Jamshedji Tata. It was in 1942, before India’s independence that Hindustan Motors manufactured the first automobile in India.
Soon after India’s independence, the Government of India tried to boost the sector by encouraging manufacturing of automobiles in the country and not exporting them directly.
We started from a phase where there were not many options with automobiles. This phase continued for a very long period until liberalisation was introduced in 1991. It encouraged many international players to invest into Indian markets. Many of them collaborated with the local manufacturers to form companies to capture markets as per the needs of Indian customers.
The evolution of the auto industry contributed much to the economical prowess of the country. It also helped the finance and insurance sectors. In time, vehicle insurance was set up by the government and governed by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. It ushered in mandatory insurance for vehicles driven on Indian roads.
With the addition of petrol engines, diesel engines, CNG and LPG vehicles, we fast forward to 2021 where investing in an electric vehicle is a dilemma.
What’s an EV? An EV is a short form for an Electric Vehicle. EVs vehicles are the ones that run either partially or fully powered on electric power.
The USP of Electric vehicles is that they have low running costs as they have less moving parts for maintenance and also are very environmentally friendly as they use minimal or no fossil fuels (petrol or diesel). While some EVs used lead acid or nickel metal hydride batteries, the standard for modern battery electric vehicles is now considered to be lithium ion batteries as they have a greater longevity and are the best in business at retaining energy, with the self discharge rate being just 5% per month. Despite this improved efficiency, there are still challenges with these batteries because it’s still in research as they can experience thermal runaway, which have, for example, caused fires or explosions in the Tesla model S, although efforts have been made to improve the safety of these batteries. Talking about the Indian automobile market, a lot of companies have introduced E-scooters and E-wheelers with their cost ranging from 1 Lakh Rupees to 1.5 Lakh. The hype struck the roof when OLA Ridesharing Company dropped its S1 series which is powered by 8500 W Mid drive IPM Motor. The battery capacity of Ola S1 takes 6.30 Hours to fully charge its 3.97 KWh battery. The government of India has procured electric buses in a handful of states in the context of increasing transportation demand and growing number of private vehicles. Electric buses, despite their size, offer sustainable mobility solutions, since they significantly reduce GHG emissions, air and noise pollution, and ultra dependence on fossil fuels. The procurement of GoI in the EV automobiles sector can increase the demand significantly! As per a few tests and surveys in India, EV cars have proven to be faster, quiet, clean and comfortable than a diesel engine car.
With ambition comes its challenges. Charging infrastructure is still not sufficient and in progress, which is what stops cars from travelling long distances. NTPC and Tata Power are trying their best to establish our country with this infrastructure. The price of an EV vehicle is nearly 5% more expensive than a petrol or diesel variant of that vehicle because of developing EV components. An eligible and interested student can invest in the stocks of an Electric vehicle company if not a vehicle itself. Some of the recommended stocks are TATA MOTORS, AMARA RAJA BATTERIES, EXIDE INDS, TATA POWER, MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA.
By Ayush Divecha