Electricity is a beneficial alternative to power several modes of transportation to make them more environmentally friendly. Since an electric car emits no harmful pollutants, it lowers greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Also, this would aid in tackling the planet’s climate concerns. Also, these environmental crisis has prompted the government to take the lead in making significant changes over the past years. According to a report published in 2021, the transportation sector, which serves as an economic infrastructure for travel and freight, accounts for 25% of total energy consumption. Hence, e-mobility is one such initiative to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel derivatives.
The proposal is to enable automobiles’ electric propulsion by using electric powertrain technology, in-vehicle information, connectivity, and connected infrastructures. Plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles use powertrain technology to convert hydrogen fuel into electricity.
There are more types of electric vehicles than e-cars, e-scooters, e-bikes, e-motorcycles, e-buses, and e-trucks. They all have a battery and charging systems, are powered entirely or partly by electricity, and primarily obtain their energy from the grids through distribution networks that follow set standards. Thus, combining all these aspects completes the ecosystem for electric mobility. Corporate fuel economy, pollution standards, and market expectations for lower operating costs drive e-mobility initiatives.
Different types of e-mobility vehicles
Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
BEV is commonly known as a pure electric vehicle. This type of electric vehicle has an extensive rechargeable battery on-board that provides all the energy the car needs to propel forward. Examples include the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, and Nissan Leaf.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV):
HEVs are series hybrids or parallel hybrids with engines and electric motors. Where the engine powered by fuel, while batteries power the motor. Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors, which use energy stored in batteries. Hybrid electric vehicle batteries are charged through regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine. The extra power provided by the electric motor can allow for a smaller engine. The battery can also power auxiliary loads and reduce engine idling when stopped. Together, these features result in better fuel economy without sacrificing performance.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV):
PHEVs, also a series hybrid, have an engine and a motor. You can pick between conventional fuel (such as gasoline) and alternative fuel (such as bio-diesel). A rechargeable battery pack can also power it. External charging is possible for the battery.
Contributors in e-mobility sector
Mobility sector combines a group of stakeholders who is essential for the success of electro mobility system. The efficient and effective functionality of these stakeholders ensures the smooth functioning of the system.
Manufacturers of EVs and accessories:
An electric vehicle is built and operated in large part by automakers (also known as auto OEMs) and other businesses including battery manufacturers, EV accessory manufacturers, maintenance service providers, etc.
Charge station manufacturers:
The companies that fall under this category are ChargePoint Inc., ABB, Tesla, Engie, AeroVironment, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Efacec, Bosch, etc. They develop the hardware and software for the charging stations in accordance with different standards and guidelines. However, in addition to selling their gear and software to charge point operators, several manufacturers also function as CPOs and EMPs/MSPs.
Charge Point Operator (CPO):
The administration and technical facets of the charging station are under the control of the charge point operator (CPO). Today, there are numerous charge point operators in every country who offer a variety of functions and station designs. These are just a few of the duties that a typical charge point operator might have: Installation, operation, maintenance, and servicing of charge stations are all technically based. Billing input to EMP, accessibility, authorization for roaming, etc. are administrative aspects.
E-Mobility Service Providers:
E-mobility service providers make it feasible for electric vehicle users to use the infrastructure for charging (EMSP or EMP). Many EMP may engage in arrangements with charge point operators (CPO) and provide end consumers with e-mobility even when they do not own the charging stations.
With the end-user (EV driver), E-Mobility providers (EMP) enter into a contract, offer to charge tags or RFID cards, and take care of the services’ billing.
Grid Operator (DSO):
The DSOs are the local grid operators (Distribution System operators). They are the ones who “supply” power to homes, workplaces, or public streets; they develop, operate, and maintain public distribution grids.
Transmission System Operator (TSO):
TSOs and DSOs work closely together to maintain the grid balanced. The TSO is responsible for maintaining a stable grid load in each neighborhood. They work with DSO to maintain “demand” and balance power distribution. They also configure profiles to reduce supply in each location as needed.
Power generation / Utility Supplier:
Utility infrastructure powers the charging stations. These businesses produce energy often; some may even own different power plants (such as wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, etc.), yet, some may buy power from other producers.
The ecosystem’s most important stakeholders are government representatives, decision-makers, and regulatory agencies. In addition to industry measures like “subsidies” to promote the market, they also set laws controlling the obligations of each of the stakeholders above.
India’s perspective on e-mobility
Most people in India belong to either middle-class families or are part of the poverty line. But in the past few years, most people have owned a car. All the cities in India are overpopulated with vehicles. Due to this reason, air pollution is increasing irrepressible. For example, Delhi, the country’s capital city, has shown the air quality index to be toxic and increasingly deteriorates daily. As scientists claim, if this kind of effect is not managed appropriately and continues for an extended period, humans would be bound to carry their oxygen tanks for survival. It is believed that introducing electric vehicles can resolve this problem to a certain extent.
Furthermore, there is a common misperception that EV two-wheelers are more expensive than their classic ICE equivalents. While the upfront cost of an EV may be higher than that of an ICE, the evaluation is complete once we consider the total cost of ownership (TCO). It includes the purchase price, operating costs (fuel/charging fees and maintenance), and resale value modifications. Climate change, rising fuel prices, and urban transportation challenges are all threatening to alter the future of mobility. E-mobility, to a considerable extent, addresses all of these difficulties. While the first electric vehicle was launched in India in 2001, the fundamental shift from internal combustion engine (ICE) based vehicles to electric vehicles (EV) started only in the last five years. According to NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute, India’s EV market could touch US$152.2 billion by 2030.
How successful is the e-mobility project
Pollution from transportation is especially significant in cities, where many people and vehicles move within a small geographical space. As a result, air pollution has become a more prominent policy priority. E-mobility reduces NOX and soot emissions in cities. With better and more environmentally friendly public transportation, more walking and bicycling infrastructure, and improved electric car infrastructure, cities also have opportunities to rethink traffic.
For prospective consumers, electric automobiles are pretty intriguing. We may anticipate additional improvements in the field as established automakers concentrate on e-mobility. These businesses may advance EV adoption by utilising their dealership networks, business information, and R&D skills. The champions of e-mobility will be two-wheelers, while four-wheelers may still need some improvement before the TCO of EVs becomes more profitable. In conclusion, India’s future for e-mobility is quite bright despite infrastructure and demand issues.