Readiness and Capacity Needs Assessment for Electric Vehicle Adoption in Indian Cities

21 Apr 2022

Global dependence on fossil fuels in the transport sector has been a key driver of climate change and air pollution. In India, motorized transport accounts for a large share of the country’s total GHG emissions. Therefore, the swift replacement of internal combustion engines (ICE Vehicles) with Electric Vehicles (EVs) is imperative to decarbonize India’s transport sector.

Currently, majority of India’s EV planning and deployment activities have come from the state and central levels, with the prominent ones being the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) and the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. Indian cities have tremendous potential to accelerate EV adoption through innovation and efficient decentralized mechanisms for collaboration with multiple stakeholders, however, the impact of city-level actions has been relatively under-explored.

Towards this, TERI conducted a city-level analysis on EV planning and deployment action chains. Given the early stages of EV transition and potential for Indian cities to jumpstart EV adoption, the study served the following objectives:

  • To understand the current status and rank the readiness of Indian cities for EV planning and adoption.
  • To identify the capacities and roadblocks for future EV planning and deployment in cities.

Methodology for the study

Four cities – New Delhi, Panaji, Bengaluru, and Guwahati – each with unique transportation characteristics were shortlisted using a multi-criteria selection assessment for the readiness scoring and capacity needs assessment. To assess the cities, a set of seven relevant criteria and indicators within each criterion were identified using extensive literature review on EV deployment and adoption. These are the following: Institutional/policy readiness, Economic readiness, Infrastructural readiness, Technological readiness, Innovation readiness, Social readiness, and Environmental readiness. In each city, key stakeholders were identified, interviewed, and surveyed on each criterion shaping the EV ecosystem.

Key Findings:

  • New Delhi scored the highest out of all four cities (72.3/100), with high scores in the Institutional/Policy, Infrastructure, Environmental and Economic criteria.
  • Bengaluru scored a total of 57.1/100. The city exhibited the highest Social Readiness, which could be attributed to factors like the city’s share of a young population and steady socio-economic levels.

Comparison of criterion- wise readiness scores for the selected cities

  • The readiness levels for Panaji (30.5/100) and Guwahati (30.0/100) were significantly lower as compared to Delhi and Bengaluru, leaving most scope for innovation towards accelerated EV uptake.
  • All cities exhibited the interdependency of one criterion on the other, with the Institutional/Policy criterion observed as the driving factor for all other criteria.
  • Environmental readiness in the form of well drafted and implemented action plans for better air quality and climate action was also a key motivator for citizens, decision-makers and private players to push the EV agenda in cities.

Overall key capacity areas, such as multi-stakeholder partnerships, fiscal incentives, interdepartmental coordination, local level innovations, technological upgradation, building trust through EV awareness campaigns, and learning from international best practices were identified in order to implement targeted interventions for EV adoption.

Sustainable mobility