CHENNAI: DIGITISATION, communication and e-payment, apart from bringing alive business models that could not have been imagined before, will enable businesses thrive even without State subsidy, said Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Principal Advisor, Ministry of Power & New and Renewable Energy. He sought to drive home the point by explaining how the Electric Vehicles (EV) project in the country is set to take off later this year, a leap forward from March, when initially businesses were skeptical as to how to make it work without a State subsidy.
He was speaking at the Freedom Talk on ‘Role of Digitisation and ECommerce in Indian Economic Growth’ organised by TANSTIA-FNF Service Centre (TFSC) and Friedrich- Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit. “Worldover, EVs are made possible with 30-40 per cent State subsidy. When we first told businesses that it was impossible in India to get similar subsidies, they were skeptical,” he said. However, one step at a time, he said, they were finally able to achieve intended results without compromising on the quality without having to rely on subsidies.
“The first focus was to increase the efficiency of these vehicles which we were able to achieve by using better quality motors and tyres, better aerodynamics and reducing the weight,” he said. By doing so, they were able to see a 30-40 per cent improvement in the effeciency of these electric vehicles (autos, buses). The next innovation was to split the battery into smaller size and swap them with a fully recharged battery when it runs out.
“This meant no waiting to charge the batteries and no public infrastructure was necessary. But it was an engineering challenge,” he said. However, they soon learnt that by doing so, they would improve the battery life by three times which would in turn bring down operational costs. “Today, in a three-wheeler, a battery swap is able to be made in 2.5 minutes while for buses, the batteries are swapped after every trip,” he said.