India joins Norway and Netherlands in wanting 100% electric vehicles


Renewables International


India’s Road Minister says the country will have 100 percent electric vehicles by 2030 to become the first “100 percent electric vehicle nation.” He may not have heard of Norway’s plans – or the Netherlands’.

Shortly after Norway began looking into requiring all new cars to be fully electric starting in 2025, the lower house of Dutch Parliament supported a motion last month to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars starting in 2025. Like the Norwegian plant, the Dutch proposal is not yet law – and it still faces some opposition domestically (report in Dutch). Significantly, the People’ Party (VVD) – the largest in the country and head of the current governing coalition – finds the idea “unrealistic.” But other parties point out that the Dutch Energy Act expires in 2023, so a ban on diesel and gasoline vehicles afterwards would not require that Act to be revised.

The Indian government is working on a scheme that also seems a bit far-fetched at present. The Dutch and Norwegians are fairly rich; Indians, less so. So India’s Road Minister Nitin Gadkari wants to sell electric vehicles without a down payment, and people would pay for the car “out of the savings on petroleum products.” A meeting is to be held next week on the matter with India’s Oil Minister and its Environment Minister.

With oil prices now down considerably, however, it is questionable whether the savings will be enough to pay for the batteries alone, which need to be replaced. Tesla apparently offers and eight-year battery warranty with unlimited miles, but generally it is assumed that such batteries will need to be replaced after around 150,000 kilometers. Back in 2013, I compared the savings from oil expenses to the extra costs of batteries and was not convinced. However, the situation has improved considerably for electric vehicles over the past three years and will continue to do so.

Still, India’s investigation is welcome as an alternative to the only other thing likely to work: outright bans on non-electric vehicles. At present, no such ban has been implemented, but perhaps it is only a matter of time. And a focus on how electric vehicles could be made affordable for the poor could also come at the issue from a different angle. Tesla started with the luxury market and is working its way down. But electric vehicles below 10,000 euros or nowhere in sight, and they would probably have to be slightly different. (Anyone who thinks the new Tesla Model 3 is an affordable car at 35,000 dollars has a different definition of “middle-class” than I do.)

Source: Renewables International. Reproduced with permission.


12 responses to “India joins Norway and Netherlands in wanting 100% electric vehicles”

  1. Alistair Spong Avatar
    Alistair Spong

    ‘Electric vehicles affordable for the poor’ – they already exist – electric bicycles . What I thinks missing and the point this article makes, is a budget electric car for lower middle income earners. Upper middle income earners have a number of choices – but i would like to see an ev that can match a hyundai getz on price taking into account petrol, and comfortably do a 200km round trip . I’ve seen hobbyists make something like that for Au $30000- surely mass production can get it down to $20000

  2. Ian Avatar

    Agreed $US 35k ($A50k) appears hardly mass market, but illustrating life cycle costs would make the purchase more do-able for many.

    1. Craig Morris Avatar
      Craig Morris

      Ian, that’s exactly what I did back in 2013 – and found there was no payback at all. By the time you have recovered your battery costs from lower fuel expenses, you need a new battery pack. So you are left with the higher upfront expenses of electric vehicle along with the inconvenience of a shorter range and longer “filling” process. Battery prices have come down considerably since then, but so have oil prices. I doubt there is any lifecycle payback at all.

      1. Bruce Avatar

        Did your analysis take into account servicing costs?
        Servicing for an ev is minimal.

  3. D. John Hunwick Avatar
    D. John Hunwick

    Don’t forget that the long term costs of replacing a battery is not necessarily a deterrent to many people wanting an electric car. Many want it to save the planet, and do it for the sake of their children and grandchildren.

    1. Craig Morris Avatar
      Craig Morris

      In that case, we should be cycling and walking (in combination with public transportation).

  4. Jana Avatar

    The electric T3 Vision would be a good alternative to an electric car and more affordable.

  5. Peter Castaldo Avatar
    Peter Castaldo

    The poor can just wait 5 years longer when fleet cars and second hand one start rolling onto the market. That’s if they are unwilling to car share or refuse to use electric bike or scooter. There are heaps of cheap options if you are willing to go with a little less.

  6. Suburbable Avatar

    I am interested in how the poor can afford electric vehicles. A suggestion I have is that cars not be purchased , only leased from auto companies.

  7. Suburbable Avatar

    What happens to the huge number of mechanically sound petrol, deisel and gas powered cars on the road when the bans on them come in? I’m sure some auto makers will keep producing them up until the last possible moment.

    1. Frankyzilla Avatar

      Remember how the black and white TV was phased out? How about the revolution with cellphones compared to the dial up old telephones? Remember the first computer by IBM which was the size of a house?

      All that history tells me that Tesla’s iPhone moment last week is the beginning of a revolution. The companies that will refuse to take heed of the direction of Electric vehicles will soon find themselves on Nokia’s burning platform moment.

  8. Ronald Brakels Avatar
    Ronald Brakels

    Piyush Goyal, India’s Energy Minister, said something along the lines of India being the first large country to go all electric. So I’d put money down on him having heard of the Norwegian and Dutch plans. Or the Norwegian plan at least. Who cares what the Dutch do?

    India only produces roughly 20% of its own oil consumption and has no desire to import any more. Particularly not when oil prices rise towards $100 a barrel again, which they will do, as current oil fields are being depleted and minimal new capacity is coming online.

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