Firms are offering incentives like subsidies, discounts or even leasing options to employees for buying EVs

As the world recovers from the pandemic-induced bump, countries worldwide are focussing on sustainable growth models to power their economies. Many of them, including India, are steadily transitioning to electric mobility. While the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) may not be an easy task, Indian companies across sectors have already taken the lead in advancing e-mobility and promoting sustainable transportation options.

Through their resources and innovative ideas, some of the big corporate houses in India are offering incentives such as subsidies, discounts and even lease options to their employees for buying an electric vehicle while others are upgrading their fleet to EVs. Many companies have also developed smart transportation solutions that optimise routes, reduce fuel consumption, and minimise emissions.

Fig 1: Wipro has tied up with Bengaluru-based startup Lithium Urban Technologies to electrify its vehicles.

Integrating EVs in company fleet

Some large corporate houses have begun adopting electric vehicles for their own operations and encouraging their employees to do the same. For example, companies that operate in the delivery ecosystem are upgrading their fleet to EVs to reduce their logistics costs and carbon footprint. They can go further ahead and promote EVs for business travel by their employees to cut down on their fossil fuel expenditure.

IT major Wipro has tied up with the Bengaluru-based startup Lithium Urban Technologies to convert the transportation used by its employees across the country to electric. Similarly, Accenture has introduced 200 electric vehicles in its fleet across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad and the National Capital Region (Delhi-NCR).

E-commerce giant Amazon India, which delivers goods across the country, has partnered with TVS Motor Company to use the vehicle manufacturer’s electric two- and three-wheelers for last-mile deliveries. The two companies have decided to examine using EV for the network and logistical requirements of various Amazon business groups.

Tata Motors, the biggest EV manufacturer in the country, has signed an MoU with ride-sharing service provider Uber to supply 25,000 electric sedans in the largest EV order for four-wheelers in the country. Tata Motors has gone all-out to evolve and is making serious efforts to maintain its dominant position as more challengers from within the country and from outside emerge.

While Reliance Industries has established Charging stations for their employees to charge their EVs, Mahindra & Mahindra has focused on developing hybrid and electric commercial vehicles, helping reduce emissions in the logistics sector. Infosys has also established an electric vehicle fleet for its employees and has been encouraging the adoption of EVs. It has also developed smart transportation solutions that optimise routes, reduce fuel consumption, and minimise emissions.

Uber, the global ride sharing app, also recently announced a slew of partnerships to electrify its services in India. The mobility major announced the rollout of Uber Green in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, starting June which  allows passengers to request an all-electric, zero tail-pipe emission vehicle rather than a regular fossil-fuelled car.

State Bank of India (SBI), which is India’s largest commercial bank in the public sector with a network of more than 22,000 branches across India has also decided to switch its fleet by 2030. SBI will not just make a transition to electric vehicles, but will also set up charging stations in major residential spaces to support the uptake of EVs by staff.

Fig 2: Vedanta will offer incentives ranging from 30-50% on purchase of EVs.

Firms offering incentives to employees for EV adoption

A big concern of potential EV buyers is the relatively high upfront investment, but industry experts say this cost averages out over a period of time. In fact, using an EV becomes more affordable in comparison to internal combustion engine vehicles in the long run. To reduce the one-time investment burden on their employees, companies are offering incentives such as subsidies, discounts and even lease options to them. Some of the companies have even come out with their own EV policies.

For example, Vedanta said it will offer incentives ranging from 30-50% on purchase of electric vehicles after rolling out its EV policy. It has also promised 100% decarbonisation of its light motor vehicles by 2030.

JSW Group has also pledged incentives on electric vehicle purchase and provide special provision for free charging stations and separate parking facilities for employees at offices. The company’s new EV policy will facilitate up to Rs 3 lakhs incentive for employees to purchase electric vehicles - four-wheelers, as well as two-wheelers - facilitating adoption of green transport across the Group.

Creating Infrastructure

Since the electric vehicle industry is still emerging, private car owners largely appear to be waiting before buying an EV. Some of their concerns are linked to lack of adequate charging infrastructure. Corporates can pitch in by providing EV charging infrastructure in their parking lots and empty spaces within their campuses. This will help reduce range anxiety among their employees.

Corporate houses can also install rooftop solar panels to power the EV charging points. According to a report by the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), this system is environmentally advantageous and if solar energy is generated close to the EV charging points, it results in lower transmission losses and helps mitigate detrimental effects of sudden rise in EV demand on the grid.

Future of Electric Vehicles in India

According to a report by real-estate consultant CBRE, the EV sales in India surpassed one million units in 2022, registering a growth of over 200% year-on-year. Most of these sales came from Uttar Pradesh (16%), Maharashtra (13%) and Karnataka (9%). It is expected that EV sales in India will touch 17 mn units by 2030 and necessitate 2,400 acres of real estate by then. The adoption of electric vehicles is likely to create a $100-billion revenue opportunity in India in the next seven years.