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Electric Two-Wheelers are at the Forefront of Future Sustainable Mobility in India: Opinion

Ultraviolette F77

Ultraviolette F77

When compared to other forms of transportation, electric two-wheelers perform better in terms of accessibility (flexibility, reliability, and speed), road space utilization, and environmental externalities.

Plagued by the triple threat of a global pandemic, climate change and the soaring crude oil prices, the global transportation industry is in an enviable position. In many countries, urbanization has seen a rapid demand for mobility in cities. The accelerated consumer adoption of alternative electric powered vehicles to conventional fuel powered vehicles is not surprising.

Electric vehicles are inherently more efficient than the alternatives – better at turning energy into motion. As electricity and transport sectors undergo technology disruption and transformation, the potential for transitioning to E-Mobility using Electric Vehicles (EVs) is limitless.

Consumers are already benefiting from increased investments in mass production of electric vehicles. The latest generation models offer the same performance and amenities of their fossil-fuel powered predecessors and – above all thanks to falling battery prices – cost nearly the same as conventionally powered vehicles.

They are already unrivaled when it comes to the cost of operation. Electric vehicles already perform better over lifetime both ecologically and economically than fuel or diesel-powered vehicles, particularly in areas where more affordable electricity is available from renewable energy sources than fuel from refineries, which remains expensive.

India and EV

The manufacturing landscape of EVs, which solely used to be dominated by the global automakers earlier, is also now seeing a rejig, as numerous Indian automakers now take a deep dive into the electric vehicle space, tapping the growing potential that the country has in store. In India, startups have taken the lead in the electric mobility revolution and the larger automakers are following suit to ramp up the electrification process.

What is even more interesting is that the mindset of the Indian population is also slowly evolving, with many now willing to make a switch to EVs soon.

Delving deep into the EV space, experts suggest that the biggest and the most lucrative market in the EV segment is that of two-wheelers, as they play a significant role in the country’s overall mobility. In India, more than 25% of people commute to work either on bicycles or two-wheelers, as they are an affordable and reliable means of transport for people across urban and rural areas of the country

Charging infrastructure as a driver

The ever-denser network of charging stations worldwide has played a major role in this development. Thanks to this, “range anxiety” – once a major obstacle to universal acceptance of electric vehicles – is now beginning to dissipate. Just as the appeal of electric cars rises with each charging station that is added, every electric vehicle sold makes investing in additional charging stations even more appealing. This networking effect benefits everyone – and above all the environment. In pioneering countries such as Denmark there are already more charging stations than conventional filling stations

The world of e-mobility is getting extremely interesting. There’s a lot going on in terms of technology and innovation. With Lower maintenance requirements, better reliability and more performance, one thing is for certain, electric motorcycles are the future. With the way current emissions standards are and the performance capabilities of an electric motor, I don’t see how anyone could think electric motorcycles won’t be the future of the two wheeler industry.

In addition, we see battery technology improving significantly to mitigate range anxiety to a large extent, especially when it comes to urban commute. Couple this with the scaling of charging infrastructure and we have highly promising factors indicating significant increase in EV adoption.

The potential role of electric two-wheeler in sustainable mobility

To begin with, EVs are well positioned to outperform their IC Engine counterparts across the entire mobility spectrum, right from long haul logistics to intra city, personal mobility segments. This includes fleets, consumer owned vehicles as well as mobility as a service.

Electric two-wheelers have the potential to contribute significantly to the development of sustainable urban mobility and the mitigation of climate change. These vehicles can effectively address the larger level negative effects of fossil-fuelled vehicles on air quality, climate, and noise while also addressing the gaps in existing 2 wheeler vehicle segments by providing unlimited flexibility in architecture and integration of the evolving smart & connected technology.

In general, when compared to other forms of transportation, electric two-wheelers perform better in terms of accessibility (flexibility, reliability, and speed), road space utilization, and environmental externalities.

This article is authored by Narayan Subramaniam, Founder and CEO, Ultraviolette Automotive. All views are personal.

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first published:June 12, 2021, 12:47 IST