“Electric has to be the way to go” says Mahindra Chief Executive

Thousands of new cars hit the roads in India everyday causing congestion and pollution.  The Government says by 2030 all cars sold in the country could be electric vehicles.  However, the car manufacturer Mahindra is the country’s only electric car maker and has sold just 1000 units in the last year.

With Mahindra poised to launch it’s new e20 city car, the successor to the G-Wiz, is the Indian market ready?

Arvind Mathew, Chief Executive of Mahindra Reva gave his thoughts to BBC Asia Business Report.

Last year, in April the Indian Government announced the FAME scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles), where there are incentives on electric cars, also incentives on research and development projects and infrastructure.

I have to say, the last year the growth has been good, but having said that in Europe and China incentives have been in place for the last four years.

When asked, what are the biggest challenges to finding more buyers for electric vehicles, Arvind  responded:

…Electric infrastructure.  We have fuel stations on every corner of our country, but we don’t have charging stations. Range anxiety is the biggest issue for an electric vehicle buyer.  They want to know where they can charge if they ever run out.

Until that charging infrastructure comes in here you will always have a little bit of a barrier.  You go to London, Amsterdam, China there are charge points almost every half-a-kilometre.

Do you think electric cars are ready to go mainstream globally?

Electric cars are very mainstream when it comes to cities, because distances are not very far.  Cities are very polluted and if you can find a much higher use of electrics you are solving the air quality problem, the congestion problem.  I think electric cars and where we have positioned are vehicle is more designed for city driving and not really for long distance.

I don’t really see the big need for long distance yet, but for congested cities, particularly in India, electric has to be the way to go.

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.