A new research report suggests plug-in electric vehicle sales will surpass 17,000 in India by 2018, by which time the subcontinent will be well on the way to becoming the third largest car market in the world.
Navigant Research found that several factors contribute to the potential wide-scale embrace of plug-in electric vehicles, including India's demographics, traffic patterns, and natural resources.
Additionally, the reinstatement of the government incentive for EV purchases in 2013 is expected to spur Indian automakers to develop new models.
In addition to its promising forecast for plug-in electric vehicles alone, Navigant's research team said when combined with sales of hybrid electric vehicles, sales could be above 22,000 in five years time.
"The country's dense urban centers and short yet congested commutes make it a natural fit with the relatively low power density of electric drivetrains." they said, adding that sales of two-wheeled electric vehicles will grow to more than 1.1 million units annually by 2018, with electric scooters the preferred vehicle type.
But the new report, "Electric Vehicles in India," says making the environment more conducive to electric vehicle (EV) sales -- including making India's power grid more stable -- will take years of investment from the public and private sector, limiting the growth of the market in the short term.
The government's on-and-off support for EVs has caused many companies that began to produce EVs to halt production, and in some cases cease operations, the report notes.
This Navigant Research report outlines the challenges and opportunities for plug-in electric light duty vehicles, two-wheeled electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles, and hybrid electric vehicles in India. Along with market forecasts covering PEVs and HEVs, the report includes profiles of the key industry players in the electric vehicle market in India. Technology issues and market drivers and barriers are also detailed.