Electric vehicles are neither cost effective nor sustainable. Discuss critically.

Published: January 1, 2018

With an aim to increase the number of clean vehicles on Indian roads, government came up with an initiative called FAME India (faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles in India). The completion of phase I of this project is around the corner. A detailed look into the project implementation and results shows that adoption of electric vehicles is neither cost effective nor sustainable. The following are the disadvantages of adopting electric vehicles on a large scale:

  • The first and foremost concern is the availability of lithium ion batteries. Lithium is not easily available. When adapted to battery run vehicles on a large scale, there is a chance that we’ll run out of lithium resource.
  • The lack of proper infrastructure like charging stations. In order to witness a successful transformation to electric vehicles, the required charging stations should be made available. 
  • The lack of technology to manufacture lithium ion batteries. In the current scenario, the lithium ion manufacturing is not up to the level. 
  • Trade with  China- since the domestic manufacturing of batteries cannot equal the demand, we have to import from China. This will widen our trade deficit favouring China.

Thus, it shows that adopting electric vehicles will increase the burden on the government. In June 2017, the project FAME India is moved to the country’s think tank NITI Aayog for betterment and it came up with the idea of promoting Methanol as alternate fuel. V.K. Saraswat, NITI Aayog member is pushing for the adoption of Methanol as it is a cheaper, widely available, easy to produce and a cleaner alternative. 
The step towards Methanol economy is viable and most recommended as, it helps India reach its global agreement on climate change targets as well as reduce its import bill of crude oil. 

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