The shift to electric vehicles (EVs) will need an investment of ₹1.8 lakh crore in setting up charging stations and other infrastructure in the country, according to a report by Feedback Consulting.

To realise the EV mobility dream, the Centre should not follow the solar panels story by depending on China for batteries, it cautioned.

Policy makers must ensure that Make in India is seriously followed to enable electronics design and manufacturing to have a significant play, the report said.

“Various policies have been put in place to promote electric vehicle as a future mode of mobility. But there are hiccups as well,” says AM Devendranath, Vice-President, Feedback Consulting.

Compared with China, India’s electric vehicle sector is in the same stage that the solar industry was five years ago. Over the last five years, Chinese solar imports dealt a blow to the domestic panels manufacturing industry and the Make in India story was a non-starter in this space.

The Centre needs to ensure that the story does not get repeated in the EV space as there is every possibility that China will present a huge competition to the Indian Industry, the report highlighted.

There is a need for a strong policy framework to promote Indian manufacturing and support from the government to make Indian stakeholders move towards EV gradually.

Also, the government needs to help Indian auto ancillary industry move towards making EV components in India and a series of support initiatives will be required to develop products, testing infrastructure and also to reskill the huge workforce.

The government is urging power PSUs to take a lead in setting up the EV charging infrastructure in the country.

There is a need for more action on getting lithium manufacturing in India in a big way and not be a nation of assemblers with core imports from China. “This would need serious work in securing the raw materials for battery manufacturing,” Devendranath said.

The EV charging infrastructure would need large investments and this investment should be directed towards ‘Made in India’ chargers again as it will help in electronics manufacturing in a big way.

There will also be a need to set up a global technology centre in motors design and manufacturing space. Global firms should be encouraged to invest in India.