Electric three-wheelers could be the "low hanging fruit" that could accelerate electric vehicle (EV) adoption in India, given their "unparalleled relevance" in first and last mile transportation in several urban areas.
That’s according to a new report by Deloitte entitled “Recharging India's electric vehicle ambition by electrifying public transport”.
The report also notes the indispensable role to be played by India’s government, but cautions against taking all the risk – rather suggesting that government facilitate growth, through subsidies and developing policy framework.
The report stressed the importance of e-rickshaws in the country, finding that urban transport systems typically only service major route networks, but not first or last mile connectivity or urban commuter transport.
The report stresses the importance of mutual participation by staheholders in vehicle and battery manufactures, private operators and the government, and that business models should be focussed on promoting the acquisition, deployment and monitoring of the vehicles.
"The business models for e-rickshaws ideally should be such that they help in furthering adoption of EVs in the cities by ensuring better connectivity of services. These business models would need to promote accessibility, adequacy, affordability, safety and reliability of passenger services and facilitate efficient last mile connectivity," it added.
Pressing the vital importance of the Indian government’s role in the transition, the report called for support for a regulatory framework, charging infrastructure and battery cost as key pillars for adoption.
"Government should initially not consider taking all the risk and should rather be more of facilitator in developing the conducive environment for growth of players and electric mobility by providing funds, subsidies, developing policy framework, etc,"
Innovation, it says will be driven by the key players, and government will play a critical part in creating a positive trading environment for private operators at all points of the EV value chain, including manufacture, operation and charging.