World EV (Electric Vehicles) Day falls on September 9 and marks a social media campaign to popularise EVs. It is part of a global drive to replace internal combustion engines with EVs to reduce fossil fuel dependency and serves as an occasion for nations to assess the progress they have made in this regard.

By 2030, the Indian government hopes to ensure that 30 per cent of private cars, 70 per cent commercial vehicles and 80 per cent two- and three-wheelers are EVs. It was a target set in 2021 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and a NITI Ayog backed study estimated that India could see at least 50 million EVs on the road at the beginning of the next decade.

But this may be a difficult target to achieve. A recent independent analysis by the clean air and sustainable mobility team at Centre for Science and Environment pegs annual EV sales in 2030 at 2.05 million. The International Energy Agency estimates annual EV sales of 1.9 million in India by 2030.

Currently, according to MoRTH’s website, India has over 2.8 million registered EV vehicles. Till now this year’s EV sales have touched over 8 lakh.

But much of the sales have been in the two and three-wheeler segments. 434, 914 of the former and 246, 270 of the latter accounted for bulk of the sales. A little over 38,000 cars were sold and 812 EV buses found buyers.

According to experts, current government schemes are based on demand-side support and subsidy, providing buyers incentives. It is felt the government should consider setting electrification targets for the supply side or automobile manufacturers. Also, the long-term focus must be on 100 per cent switchover to EVs, thus existing vehicles must be replaced by EVs rather add more vehicles to the already congested roads.