In 2016, a Renub Research study found that the Global Electric Vehicles market is expected to be worth more than US$100 billion as an industry by 2020. Unsurprisingly, more and more businesses are looking to get on board, investing in new technology that will help us get from A to B in a greener fashion.
For India, this comes at a much needed time as air pollution is dangerously high in many densely populated cities. Earlier this year, the government announced plans to make every single car electric by 2030 in a bid to tackle pollution that is killing millions.
One company with a clear vision of shaping India’s future with electric cars is Nissan. Corporate VP and Global Head of Nissan-owned Datsun, Jose Roman, recently stated that the government’s plans to transition to all-electric vehicles by 2030 is definitely “doable”, for the country’s major cities at least.
More specifically, when asked about India’s plans, Roman responded optimistically. “It’s a fantastic plan. But it is not the responsibility of car companies alone. The government and customers have to play an equal role. The technology already exists … the new Nissan Leaf can go 400km on a single charge.”
“But the government has to put in place charging infrastructure.” Jose added, “India is not a country, it’s a subcontinent. Pan-India electric vehicle infrastructure might not be possible by 2030, but it is doable in at least major cities.”
Due to Datsun’s stance towards manufacturing low-cost vehicles for emerging markets, the Indian market is of particular interest for Nissan. Roman, who took on the role of Global Head in April 2017, confirmed that Datsun currently has a presence in India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa, along with a handful of others.
Datsun’s original production ran from 1931 till 1986, when it was phased out by its parent entity Nissan. Later in 2013, it was brought back to life again for the middle class in developing nations. This followed the launch of GO, the company’s first model to be launched in India, which unfortunately was unsuccessful. Shortly after, the company produced GO+, which was equally unsuccessful. Since then Datsun has released a third offering with Redi-Go for the Indian market.
India is not alone with its ambitions to create an electric based infrastructure. Just this week, E.On announced its plans to create a new ‘electric highway’ to connect Europe from Norway to Italy. It hopes to connect 7 European countries from Norway to Italy with 180 ultra-fast charging stations using a modular system that will enable a charge rate of 150 kW that can be later upgraded to 350 kW.
In a statement on their website, Frank Meyer, Head of Innovation and B2C at E.ON, declared that “[t]ogether with strong partners we are taking a joint step towards establishing a comprehensive ultra-fast charging infrastructure in Europe. It is a testament to our commitment to provide convenient e-mobility solutions for our customers in Europe. We see a reliable ultra-fast charging network in combination with our home and destination solutions as main prerequisites for a mass market adoption of electric mobility”.
Numerous companies are future proofing their vehicles and designs with an electric focus. This is abundantly clear for many companies such as Mercedes, who is quietly becoming Tesla’s biggest rival. This comes at a time when major automakers from across the globe are preparing massive electric-car rollouts. Just recently, Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company announced plans to electrify its fleet of cars by 2020 and will be investing $11 billion into this release.
As the benefits of electric transport become more desirable, its appeal is clearly rubbing off on businesses and countries around the world, ultimately leading to new competition, new marketing strategies and hopefully a greener planet for all of us.