Unaddressed Hurdles in Electric Vehicle Adoption: Challenges Awaiting Resolution

Discover the key ecosystem areas that need addressing to unlock mass EV adoption



The growing presence of EVs in India signals a positive shift toward a greener future, but the insufficient infrastructure for repairs poses a notable challenge. The remedy involves standardization and platformization at the machinery and repair levels, coupled with strategic partnerships between OEMs and independent service providers. Additionally, an integrated collaboration platform is crucial for streamlining the EV sector, ensuring sustainable growth, and addressing challenges to reduce repair costs, foster innovation, and accelerate electric vehicle adoption.


Felix Advisory Team:

Swetabh Pareek

Danish Khan

Source: e-AMRIT, EVReporter, IEA, MercomIndia, AutoRecyclingWorld

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Currently, India is responsible for emitting 2.5 billion MTPA of carbon, and a figure expected to increase to 2.9 billion MTPA by the year 2030. A considerable portion of India's overall pollution stems from vehicular sources, accounting for 12% of the country's energy-related emissions and contributing to around 40% of the total PM2.5 pollution. To address and mitigate the escalating pollution levels, it is crucial to promote a substantial transition towards the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

The EV market in India has experienced substantial growth, achieving a milestone of 1.53 million units in CY2023, marking a notable 50% YoY surge, while accounting for 6.4% of the total automotive sales. There are a lot of factors including battery charging time, lifetime, and charging infra which are being solved. However, a couple of major roadblocks to be solved are creating hindrances to much steeper adoption, similar to what India experienced with the smartphone during the last decade.

  1. Absence of infrastructure for repairing and servicing EVs and its components,

  2. Very little standardization in the ecosystem and has no integrated platform for stakeholders.

What is Ailing EV Ecosystem:

A. After Sales Services and Repairs: Current State

Typically, Automotive OEMs advise periodic vehicle inspections, including battery pack assessments to ensure the vehicle's optimal performance. However, when an EV requires repair, owners are only at the mercy of the respective OEM for servicing.

EVs, featuring fewer moving components in contrast to ICE vehicles, integrate lightweight materials such as aluminum, ultra-high-strength steel, composites, and carbon fiber, enhancing performance and efficiency but posing challenges in terms of repair. Notably, EVs face increased vulnerability to rear-end collisions, which can result in damage to crucial powertrain components. Most importantly, third-party and local garages are not equipped to handle EV repairs.

Probable Solutions:

Standardization at the EV servicing level, and to some extent, at the vehicle component level, is crucial, paving the way for diverse and innovative business models in the EV Ecosystem.

OEMs can contribute to the growth of the EV industry by extending their periodic servicing and after-sales support services to Independent EV service providers. This approach fosters synergies among stakeholders in the EV ecosystem. OEMs, focusing on their core operations, can establish strategic partnerships with independent EV service providers for their after-sales support. Through collaboration, both the OEMs and service providers can leverage each other's networks, facilitating business growth. Such strategic partnerships overcome the challenge of service unavailability and ensure cost-effective EV services.

Fixing EVs: The Computers on Wheels

EVs are more like computers than just a vehicle, necessitating technicians with a blend of electrician-like skills and mechanical expertise. Many faults in EVs are internal and cannot be identified through visual inspection, making classical debugging methods ineffective.

Specialized knowledge is crucial, highlighting the importance of standardized programs for training and certification to ensure the adept handling of EVs. Additionally, the establishment of a network of authorized repair centers equipped with the requisite tools and expertise is indispensable. Achieving a comprehensive approach to maintenance and repair mandates enhanced collaboration among stakeholders within the EV ecosystem.

There needs to be an OBD equivalent, enabling a laptop or device to plug into any EV, particularly 2W and 3W, to comprehensively assess the vehicle and its subcomponents for service and maintenance purposes. This decentralization of EV maintenance could foster a new industry, significantly promoting the growth of EV adoption in India.

While EVs typically boast lower maintenance expenses and extended warranties, there are other factors that increase costs. Notably, labor cost can make up a significant portion, nearly 50%, of the total repair costs for EVs. Moreover, EV repairs generally require an additional six hours of labor and an extended cycle time of approximately 2.5 days, with the specific duration contingent on the type of vehicle.

B. Standardizing the EV Ecosystem: Current State

As of now, standardization within the EV sector primarily revolves around Homologation for EVs and EV components, specifications for EV charging, and safety standards for power grids. The current standards include:

1. ARAI Standards:The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) sets standards for testing, evaluating, and homologating EVs and their components. These standards ensure functional safety, grade-ability, and roadworthiness by testing parameters such as energy consumption, range, and net power.

2. BIS Standards: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) establishes standards to ensure interoperability and reduce trade barriers for electric vehicles and components. These standards cover AC charging, DC charging, and battery swapping, promoting consistency in the EV ecosystem.

3. CEA Standards:The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) sets standards pertaining to the safety of power grids. This includes measures for safety in electric supply and technical standards for the connectivity of distributed generation resources, ensuring safe and accessible power for EVs on a broader scale.

While these existing standards contribute to the safety and functionality of EVs, they may not be adequate to drive widespread EV adoption. To achieve this, there is a need for standardization at the machine level, emphasizing the importance of government focusing on this aspect.

Partnerships and collaborations with subcomponent OEMs are also essential for accessing and integrating data into the platform, facilitating debugging, and understanding the health of components such as motors, controllers, BMS, VCU, chargers, etc. Without this crucial data, effective debugging and health monitoring of subcomponents become nearly impossible.

Additionally, an integrated platform is crucial for EV ecosystem stakeholders to connect, collaborate, streamline processes, and foster sustainable mobility. Like Android for smartphones globally, a unified medium in the EV ecosystem can significantly reduce repair costs, time, and encourage new businesses, promoting sector growth and penetration. This platformization will, in turn, boost EV development and production, enhancing quality by addressing issues at the production level. It has the potential to significantly benefit OEMs, as the fault and maintenance data can contribute to refining vehicle designs and architecture, incorporating necessary changes. Ultimately, this process will lead to the development of better, more reliable vehicles on the road.

Transition VC Team:

Shantanu Chaturvedi

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