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Hybrids are an important factor in India's future in the field of mobility. NITI Aayog official, V K Saraswat shared the necessity of implementing hybrid technologies in the current automotive market. He also added that switching to EVs from ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles is not an easy process and will require some time.
Saraswat, the former Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) says that the mass introduction of EVs should be started with two-wheelers and three-wheelers. According to him, such vehicles are the ones which are focussed more on short-distance travels.
"There is a sequence in which activity has to go. The sequence today is that you have a 100 per cent system working on internal combustion engine (ICE). You are introducing a battery technology directly today. It will take time for the battery technology because it needs supporting infrastructure capacity," he told the PTI (Press Trust Of India).
V K Saraswat states that India shouldn't let the carbon emissions from conventional fossil-fuel vehicles to increase. To reduce IC engine emissions, the best way is to go hybrid rather than investing heavily in full-electric powertrains.
The main reason for this is the technology to develop hybrid vehicles in the country doesn't require any additional infrastructure or modifications to the existing resources. Hence it is wise to keep the hybrid route open, introduce the battery technology in two-wheelers and three-wheelers first in which the running at a particular point in time does not exceed 100 kilometres. So, even on a single charge it can take them to 100 – 150 kilometres for which technology is available today."
But battery-driven systems will contribute to emissions indirectly since India still relies on coal power plants at a good majority for electricity generation. Furthermore, the cost of batteries which power electric vehicles is also an issue. As per some analysis, the cost of a recommended unit of battery output is expected to be around Rs 6000 by 2030.
It isn't actually the cost of raw materials which is the cause of the high pricing for batteries. Instead, it is the non-availability of abundant sources of the chief elements in a battery cell construction: lithium, manganese and cobalt; the first one being high priority.
As of now, if India is to encourage rapid implementation of electric vehicles so as to ‘save the Earth', Lithium has to be imported in good amounts just like fossil fuels. But hybrid cars make a difference since they require only a portion of both. Ultimately, there should be a good balance between the sale of electric vehicles and the supply of supporting infrastructure.
Thoughts On Hybrid Cars Being Top-Priority In India
The Indian government is doing its best to check the growing problems related to vehicular emissions while manufacturers are trying their best to return good mileage figures in their products. Though all-electric products such as the Mahindra e2o are available on the market, they still cost more than an equivalent ICE car. Hopefully, the current and futurehybrid cars in India could make a difference.