Mains Practice Question


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India’s charging infrastructure requires a major boost to alleviate range anxiety and drive widespread adoption. Discuss


A Simple Introduction about India’s Charging Infrastructure

India's transition towards electric mobility is predominantly centred on the adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as a replacement for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Among the various alternatives, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are perceived as the most promising solution in the current scenario.

As of February 2023, India has a meagre 12,146 public EV charging stations catering to over 3.3 million (33 lakh) registered EVs. This translates to a dismal vehicle-to-station ratio of 270:1. This is a far cry from countries like China, which boasts a significantly better ratio of 7 EVs per charging station.

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Meeting Future Demand

Industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimates that India needs to install over 1.3 million (13 lakh) chargers by 2030 to keep pace with the anticipated growth in EVs. Bridging this infrastructure gap is crucial for India's aspirations of transitioning towards cleaner mobility solutions.

Challenges Beyond Infrastructure:

The Indian EV push faces hurdles beyond the immediate need for charging stations:

  • Subsidy Dependence: The success stories of EV adoption in countries like Norway, the United States, and China all highlight the critical role of state subsidies in incentivizing EV purchases.

  • Charging Infrastructure vs. Subsidies: A World Bank report suggests that investing in charging infrastructure yields a 4-7 times greater impact on EV adoption compared to upfront purchase subsidies.

  • Renewable Energy Integration: Many leading EV nations, like Norway with its 99% hydroelectric power, have a strong foundation of renewable energy sources powering their electricity grids. India, however, still relies heavily on coal-fired thermal plants for electricity generation.

  • Li-ion Battery Dependence: As India grapples with securing a foothold in the global lithium value chain, discussions are emerging regarding the need to explore alternatives to Li-ion batteries for a more diverse EV battery mix.

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India's e-mobility ambitions require a multi-pronged approach. While localizing battery manufacturing is crucial, it must be accompanied by a large-scale rollout of charging infrastructure. Additionally, exploring alternative battery technologies and integrating more renewable energy sources into the power grid can pave the way for a more sustainable and successful EV revolution in India.


Other Points to Consider 


Hybrid vehicles
Ethanol and flex fuel vehicle
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles



Previous Year Questions

1. What are the direct and indirect subsidies provided to farm sector in India? Discuss the issues raised by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in relation to agricultural subsidies. (2023)

2. Do you think India will meet 50 percent of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2030? Justify your answer. How will the shift of subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables help achieve the above objective? Explain. (2022)


22-May 2024