‘Electrification is a global opportunity for India:’ KK Paul of TI Clean Mobility
Robustness of supply chain to meet the EV industry’s QCD requirements, as well as the foray of technology-led start-ups in the EV ecosystem is set to streamline the ecosystem and accelerate EV adoption in India while giving it a global opportunity.
With EVs redefining the global landscape of mobility and creating a level-playing field for both newcomers, as well as legacy players, the opportunity for India to become a hub is a big one. According to Kalyan Kumar Paul, MD, TI Clean Mobility, “While the opportunity is universal, it is only a question about how and when. An EV is a computer on wheels, but the chance of building customer intimacy that we never had before, is now possible with EVs.”
“Many of the new incumbents are having a face-off with existing incumbents, but worldwide if we look at the EV space, it is new for everyone, so there is no incumbency. Rather, it is a question of how each manages their business model,” he said while speaking as a panelist in the discussion on the topic - Transformation of Last-Mile Mobility - at the Autocar Professional India EV Conclave in Chennai.
“We are very upbeat about the different EV segments we are seeing today. The total cost of ownership or TCO is very compelling and is upwards of 25 percent (for e-3Ws), and if the industry overcomes the sole barrier – high acquisition cost of an EV – through various measures such as battery leasing, making them smaller, one has a winning formula at hand,” Paul added.
Need to streamline supply chain
Paul, however, pointed out that availability of a robust domestic supply chain and world-class quality components remains a key hurdle in front of the Indian EV industry, which is unable to see QCD (Quality, Cost, Delivery) requirements getting met by component makers. “The mature e-mobility segments like the electric three-wheelers face challenges of the supply chain still not being fully organised. EV OEMs face several challenges particularly with the supply chain unable to meet the QCD requirements that customers desire the products to have. Therefore, the supply chain particularly requires a fillip,” he said.
But he showed optimism and said, “At the end of the day, we should see a stable infrastructure getting developed with finance, and suppliers on one side, and OEMs on the other. Once that happens, there is a huge chance to take on and accelerate the EV adoption growth in India.”
“Customers are willing to switch to electric if the products can ensure reliability, value proposition, savings offered. The customer profile in the electric passenger-carrying three-wheeler segment is changing rapidly, and is opening opportunities to new entrepreneurs,” he added.
With respect to the financing hurdle, Paul said that it is the heavy-commercial vehicle segment and tractors that require specific support, as they are some of the largest-polluting vehicle categories and become extremely expensive with electric technology. Currently the financing terms are quite unfavourable, particularly with respect to larger electric vehicles. We are hopeful that some of the government policies in the subsequent period will come through,” he said.
“While there are challenges, several start-ups on the charging infrastructure, financing, and telematics, are coming up to solve the problems. More importantly, the entire ecosystem must work in tandem for the industry to witness an acceleration in the adoption of EVs,” Paul signed off.
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