Reveals the EV dashboard launched by Climate Trends

Spurred by the Centre’s push and innovative policies by various state governments, India has been steadily transitioning towards clean mobility with a focus on electrification of transport. However, a recent analysis shows that only six states - Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan - are responsible for 60% of the EV sales in the country in 2023.

The analysis of the data on the EV dashboard launched by Climate Trends and Climate Dot reveals that the  remaining 40% of EV sales are scattered across 22 states and eight Union Territories, highlighting that only a handful of states are driving e-mobility growth. A closer look also reveals that different states are leading on different vehicle segments.

What is the EV dashboard?

The dashboard draws, in real time, EV sales data from the government-owned Vahan portal and presents it in an easily consumable, user-friendly manner. Its functionality allows for quick analysis at the level of vehicle categories, time periods, state and national level through easy drop down menus, which was otherwise a manual process.

The dashboard can help draw comparisons in vehicle sales in different states, annual EV sales since 2014, as well as EV penetration in states and in India across all vehicle categories collectively and individually.

The aim is to provide a platform where users can interact with the data in a very dynamic way and do a quick analysis to understand the present EV landscape in the country, said Akhilesh Magal, the founder and director of Climate Dot Foundation.

Fig.1: EV dashboard

Why is the EV dashboard important?

“The launch of this dashboard is comparable to an UJALA moment in e-mobility, because there is immense power in data visualisation to encourage policy measures and inform general public, says Saurabh Kumar, Vice President, The Global Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), who has led many high impact projects in the past like the flagship UJALA scheme.

Climate Trends director Aarti Khosla was of the opinion that e-mobility has gained significant acceptance as a mode of clean transport in India, that it is important to sustain narratives in the public debate on why EVs are clean transport, and what the sales data is telling us about the ground realities and the hits and misses of several policies.

“This dashboard will help with fact-based, data-driven stories, and support researchers, journalists and the public in understanding EV growth in different geographies, across time and vehicle types,” she said.

What more does the EV dashboard reveal?

The dashboard shows that while electric two-wheeler sales are growing well, their penetration is still low at around 5% in 2023. This shows that electric two-wheelers are still not a preferred choice among consumers and barriers to their adoption still remain.

“The cost parity between EV and ICE two-wheeler is still high. Demand side incentives will need to be continued for some time to make costs of EVs more palatable to end users, both by the central and state governments,” says Shikha Rokadiya, Researcher, International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

She also emphasised the importance of  attracting investments in EV manufacturing that can eventually lead to economies of scale to achieve cost parity.

According to Magal, the analysis also reveals that the middle income states (Maharashtra, Karnataka) are seeing high adoption of 2W EVs. This indicates that EVs there are seen as a value product or an aspirational product, but also something that delivers value at the current price point.

Finding ways to unlock affordable and accessible finance is also a way of encouraging two-wheeler sales without relying heavily on subsidies,” says Narayan Kumar, Associate Director, e-mobility, Shakti SEF.

Currently, SBI offers an interest rate as high as 18% for two wheeler purchase, which is not at all affordable for the common man. Along with this, creating strong regulatory frameworks that build the confidence of investors to invest in the EV ecosystem is the need of the hour, he added.

HOP Electric Co-founder Nikhil Bhatia stressed that the electric two-wheeler sales in terms of last mile delivery is mainly driven by fleet operators and not by individual customers. “When an individual buyer starts purchasing E2Ws, then only the real uptake will start showing.”

The analysis of the dashboard also revealed that overall EV penetration in India as of August 2023 has reached 6.5%. It shows that EV sales in the first eight months of this year are nearly the same as EV sales for all of 2022, and are projected to close at 1.2 million units, compared to 1 million last year.

It shows that every second three-wheeler sold in the country is now electric, with Ladakh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Uttar Pradesh having achieved 80% penetration of electric three-wheelers in 2023.