Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (Mahindra Reva) sold 1,000 cars in 2015-16 but the coming years could see a sharp rise in volume growth, thanks to cab-hailing services company Ola and urban transport solutions provider Lithium Urban Technologies.
A pan-India pilot project by the end of the current year will be a sort of launching pad for SoftBank-backed cab-hailing company Ola, according to its chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal. "...after that we will be scaling it up in a major way," he told Reuters on Friday.
The overall sale of electric vehicles in India was 22,000 in 2015-16, a growth of 37.5 percent. But it pales before 3 million conventional cars approximately sold in the country annually.
The main hurdle impacting the usage of electric cars is the absence of adequate charging stations — an issue that will also be addressed while rolling out EVs, according to Aggarwal.
Bengaluru-based Lithium Urban Technologies, founded in July 2015, which uses only electric cars, is also planning to augment its current fleet of 250 EVs in a big way. The company that counts Tesco, Adobe, VMware, Unisys and Accenture as its clients in Bengaluru, wants to expand to Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad by acquiring many more electric cars, financed by a fund-raising exercise, Sanjay Krishnan, a co-founder, had said last month.
The future for EVs is also looking up after the Supreme Court recently ordered that the March 31, 2017 deadline for banning sale of BS III vehicles won't be extended at any cost, forcing companies to adopt green technology in a big way. Pollution levels are high in many Indian cities, especially Delhi, caused by vehicles, among other factors.
Apart from Mahindra Reva, other manufacturers of EVs in India include Electrotherm (India) Ltd., Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hero Electric Vehicles Private Ltd., Toyata Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd., Lohia Auto Industries, Ampere Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., Avon Cycles Ltd., Chris Motors and Ajanta Manufacturing Ltd. Nissan is planning to launch its electric car Leaf next year.
India has a target of having 6 million EVs on its roads by 2020, according to the Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 and FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles).
From April 1, 2017, the EV makers would have to give details of emission levels to the road transport ministry.
Mahindra also plans to launch electric buses and trucks next year and sell about 1 lakh EVs comprising cars, buses and trucks over the next two to three years.
For 2016-17, flagship company Mahindra & Mahindra sold 5.06 lakh vehices excluding tractors, as compared to 4.94 lakh units sold in 2015-16. Tractor sales in 2016-17 stood at 2.62 lakh units.
Mahindra's electric car models comprise e2oPlus, eVerito (launched last June) and eSupro 3 (van launched in October 2016).