Recently in an event India’s transport minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari made a bold statement about electrification of cars in India. Government is working on a plan to ensure all cars on Indian roads will be running electric power or alternate fuels. There are mixed reaction from various part of industry. Some of the organizations are in support due to its positive impact on environment and many are confused since there is limited time in hand and so far there is no communication in written format. There is no clear roadmap on how this action will be implemented in real time scenario.
There are many relevant questions to be asked in this context because Indian customers still do not believe in buying electric cars. Some of the key issues are:
We do not have infrastructure in Metros, how can we expect we have everything ready in less than 13 years. We already have CNG available as alternate fuel available but if you take your car out of Metros, you hardly find any filling stations and you are forced to run your car on Petrol. If you search when CNG was started in Delhi the date you will find will be 2002. Since 2002 when Indian adopted CNG vehicles for the first time till toady we do not have enough CNG filling stations outside metros. So we must have infrastructure before making any decision.
What about current Petrol and Diesel cars in India
There was no comment on what will happen with current Petrol and Diesel cars in India. If they remain on roads then the whole model will fail. If manufacturers are asked to scrap them, there will be huge losses. India is one country where people use one car for more than 30 years despite having current car policy of India for only 15 years.
Job loss due to electric cars
As per 2016 data (source: economywatch.com) auto industry employs more than 25 million people. Considering this coming from some government data, that may not include people from unorganized sector. From Chaiwala standing outside company gate to water bottle supplier equal number of people dependent on automobile industry will be impacted.
Why there is a job threat due to electric cars?
Government can say that they are just asking a technology change which might not impact that much but surely there is job threat due to electric cars. True, it is just a technology change but it is like asking an engineer to do by-pass surgery. He might learn but at present he is not qualified enough to do the job. Question is: how many people are willing to learn an entirely new skill.
Even if we train these people what will happen to employees working in OIL & GAS companies and petrol pump owners, employees etc. Is there a roadmap about their jobs?
Fewer workforces will be required as electric cars use electric motor and rechargeable battery unlike lot of mechanical parts of a petrol car.
There are people who are making only limited parts of a car and selling it to big companies as vendors. All these factories be either shut down or will be asked to make something else causing huge losses as all technology change requires lot of efforts.
From mechanical engineers to design experts to the last person associated with automobile engines, it will impact all of them. I cannot comment on individual impact but it will surely happen.
The list can go on and on. We can only hope that the government considers all the issues before making any final roadmap or decision.