Electric vehicle global news roundup


India supports electric vehicle integration

The Southern and Eastern Power Distribution Companies of Andhra Pradesh have proposed a power tariff of ₹6.95 per unit for electric vehicles in their annual revenue requirement for the 2018-19 financial year.

This comes soon after the signing of a memorandum of understanding with  Toyota Kirloskar Motors to proceed with a feasibility study on introducing plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric commuter buses.

The distribution system operator further stated that its proposal included charging infrastructure in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati and along the State and national highways.

Additionally, 500 electric cars are likely to be dispatched later this month to Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati where, according to reports, they would be under hire with the government departments.

Still in India, Jaguar Land Rover, owned by Tata Motors has decided to electrify all its vehicles from 2020, according to the Times. Despite fears that the move would affect margins, the company is working on cost saving steps.

According to CFO Ken Gregor, the high cost of batteries and uncertainty around how much customers would be willing to pay for those batteries are major challenges.

The company’s first fully electric SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, will go on sale in 2018.

Canada’s EV plans

Despite a governement target of 5% electric vehicles by 2020, progress in Ontario has been slow, to the extent that analysts are adamant the target won’t be met.

“The chances of meeting it aren’t low, they’re zero,” says  industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers. “In the auto sector all roads lead to electric, it just happens to be that the road to serious acceptance of them is probably at least 2030 and more likely 2040, 2050.”

Tony Faria, an auto industry analyst at the University of Windsor agrees, saying,”we will almost assuredly get to 5% electric vehicles purchased or on the road at some point in time, it’s just not going to be in the next couple of years,” he said. “We’re really wedded to our gasoline-driven vehicles because of the flexibility they give us distance wise, amazing availability of where you can fill up and so on.”

Range anxiety is a key reason given by analysts, the industry and government as to why more people haven’t yet switched to electric vehicles.

The government of Ontario announced in July 2016 that it would spend $20 million building a network of 500 public charging stations along highways and at public places across the province by March 31, 2017.

China seeks to combat EV range anxiety

According to the Financial Times, China’s government is seeking to combat range anxiety by pledging to build a charging station for every vehicle on the road by 2020.

To this purpose, 4.8 million charging outlets and stations will be built by 2020 at a cost of $19 billion. Analysts and Ping An Securities say more, if not all of the money for this programme, will be from the state.

The Chinese already have the largest number of charging stations or points in the world, with 190,000 available. This is compared to 60,000 in the US (made up of 44,000 charging outlets and 16,000 stations)

The FT reports that “China has identified 10 high-tech economic sectors — including electric vehicles (EVs) — that it plans to globally dominate or be a major competitor in by that year. In 2016, China made 45% of the world’s EVs, a figure that could rise to 60% by 2030, according to Goldman Sachs. Appetite for EVs has grown rapidly in China thanks to hefty government subsidies worth up to Rmb60,000 (around $9,000) for a car this year, although these are set to decrease. However, range anxiety is the most frequently cited fear among consumers when considering purchasing a new electric vehicles.”

Xu Qian, a motor sector expert at consultancy AlixPartners, says “Even in Shanghai, [there are] still a lot of difficulties to find a charging station. You have to have a personal parking space or garage to install your personal charging post. So if you don’t have a charging post, what can you do? It’s a story of infrastructure.”

Australia to prioritise electric vehicle use

The governments of South Australia and the City of Adelaide, have prioritised the growth of electric vehicle use in fleets, it has been announced. Following the recent Climate Action Roundtable, it has been agreed to “coordinate on the development of plug-in electric vehicle support infrastructure (charging stations) and standardization of incentives of various kinds — amongst various states.”

Minister Ian Hunter said: “Transport is the fastest-growing contributor to climate change globally and other major economies are moving away from petrol and diesel-fuelled engines. It’s important that we are at the forefront of a transition to lower-emission vehicles in Australia — both to reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions, and to keep pace with global competitors.”

New York provides $3.5 million in funding

Andrew M Cuomo, Governor of New York State, has announced funding of $3.5 million to increase the rate at which plug-in electric vehicles are adopted; reduce the price of electric vehicle charging station installation and operation; and utilise electric vehicles to improve grid resilience.
Governor Andrew Cuomo     Picture Credit: Pat Arnow (CC BY-SA 2.0)



“Clean cars are the way of the future, and with a tremendous increase in the number of electric vehicles sold this year, it is clear New Yorkers support efforts to combat climate change,” Cuomo said.

“Innovation is what drives New York and we are proud to incentivize the development of improved technologies that will create a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for all.”

The transport sector in New York State represents around 40% the state’s energy related greenhouse gas emissions. By utilising and increasing the adoption of EVs, there is a potential to greatly reduce this figure.

As of 1 November, there are only around 23,000 electric vehicles registered in the state.

Indonesia partners with Mitsubishi on electric vehicle pilot

Finally, in Indonesia, the Industry Ministry is undertaking a trial in conjunction with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, as part of efforts to formulate a regulation to boost the use of such cars in the country.

The government plans to to have 400,000 low carbon emission vehicles (LCEV) enter the Indonesian market by 2025.

Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said Mitsubishi would provide 10 EV prototypes to help further research, adding that two models would be run on a trial basis by the year’s end.

“We expect the new regulation to be issued in the beginning of next year so that we can soon provide incentives to boost the use of electric cars,” Airlangga said.