Critically examine the concerns expressed by some in India's auto Industry that Electric Vehicles (EVs) will have huge socio-economic costs and will contribute to loss of millions of jobs in India.

Published: September 14, 2017

Taking a cue from India’s INDC and its climate change commitments, the government is planning to introduce electric vehicles at mass scale. However, some auto companies claim that this shift towards electric vehicles may have huge socio-economic cost and a lot of people may lose their jobs.
However, as per the proponents of electric vehicles(EV), they are far better than present vehicles. For example, the energy efficiency of a petrol/diesel engines is around 16-21%, while in case of electric vehicles the efficiency is above 90%. Also, the prices of batteries are falling rapidly making them more affordable. Electric vehicles are more reliable because of its design in comparison to petrol/diesel based vehicles.
In fact, the issue is that if India will not focus on electric vehicle technology now, other nations will acquire a technological-edge and we will end up either importing or paying the royalty for components. This will be a real setback for auto and auto-parts manufacturers in India.
Therefore India should start investing in R& D of electric vehicles to attain technological edge in at least some aspects of technologies involved. The focus should be to overcome high costs of components of electric vehicles and there is need to optimize the technologies as per high-temperature conditions in our nation.
India should not wait for rest of world to adopt and then follow. In fact, India can be a leader in electric vehicle technologies if adequate financial, technological and policy environment is provided to the sector.

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