IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 11th Jan 2021

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see.” – Confucius

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #309 :“Electric Vehicles (EVs) in 2021

Electric Vehicles (EVs) in 2021

Syed Ali

Electric Vehicles (EVs) in 2021


Central Vista, executive’s caprice, and rule of law


Constitutional tradition requires the state’s decisions to be just, fair and reasonable and adhere to procedure
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : 3 : Effects of globalisation on Indian society : Infrastructure


What are the challenges, advantages in adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in 2021 . Comment -(GS 1/3)


  • Electric Vehicles in India
  • Benefits
  • Challenges
  • Way Forward


The progression to electric vehicles is important for India because such vehicles are sustainable and profitable in the long term.

  • ADVANTAGES : Reducing dependence on crude oil will save the states money, reduce carbon emissions, and build domestic energy independence.
  • EASY TRANSITION : Transition to electric vehicles is economically and environmentally viable option.
  • ENERGY SECURITY : This will also influence India’s foreign policy as our energy security dependence will shift from West Asia to Latin America.



  • OIL DEPENDENCY : Shifting towards EVs will help India to reduce oil dependency while solving the challenge of energy scarcity and moving towards renewable and clean sources of energy.

India imported 228.6 MT of crude oil worth $120 billion in 2018–19, which made it the third-largest oil importer in the world in terms of value. 

  • NATURE FIRST : Controlling Pollution, climate and resource and Mitigating Climate Change.
  • RELIANCE ON FOSSIL FUELS : This makes it all the more reason for India to make electric cars and vehicles a priority in the fight against the reliance on fossil fuels.


  • NEW CONCERN :  India has had a growing appetite for lithium-ion batteries, and so, lithium imports have tripled from $384 mn to $1.2 bn.
  • LACK OF BATTERY CELL MANUFACTURING : There is a complete absence of primary battery cell manufacturing in India which poses the risk of increasing trade deficit.

Another big challenge is the development of charging infrastructure which will need to be combined with existing refuelling stations and at alternative locations closer to homes.

  • LIMITED GRID CAPACITY : According to a NITI Aayog report, India’s EVs market needs a minimum of 10 GW of cells by 2022, which would need to be expanded to about 50 GW by 2025.
  • LOCAL ISSUES : Bringing transportation congestion, affordability, infrastructure and transit systems availability are localized issues, impede the standardization of EVs.
  • POLLUTION : Lithium ion and cobalt Industry still lack the range that would make them a viable alternative to internal combustion engines.


  • PAN INDIA PROGRAM : The State aims to see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.

Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India Scheme) for improving electric mobility in India. 

  • TAX REBATE : The GST reduction for electric vehicles from 12% to 5%.
  • CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE : The Union power ministry categorized charging of batteries as a service, which will help charging stations operate without licences.
  • PLANNED CITIES : Implementation of smart cities would also boost the growth of electric vehicles.
  • SELF RELIANCE : This will be a long-term solution to clean our cities, build new markets, and skill people for new jobs towards an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.


  • STAKEHOLDERS : State and city-level players need to be involved so as to address several technical and infrastructural needs.

Accelerating EV use in India should be linked to the “Make in India” or an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

  • RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT : Investment is required (PPP model) for research and development in battery-making and exploring alternative technologies.
  • REDUCING INITIAL COST : Avoids multiplicity and reduces the cost of infrastructure, while making it convenient and safe for users.
  • TIMELINE MEASURES : India needs a road map, with timelines, processes, well-researched impact studies, bold initiatives and robust investments.


  • India in recent years started reaching out to the ‘Lithium Triangle’ in South America.
  • In 2019, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd inked a pact with an Argentine firm to jointly prospect lithium in the South American country.

It is a consortium of three PSU companies including National Aluminum Company (NALCO), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd., (MECL).

  • The Consortium has been formed by the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, for identifying, exploring, acquiring, developing and processing strategic minerals overseas.
  • Now, India is exploring options in Chile and Bolivia, two other top lithium-producing countries.

Global producers of lithium: In 2019, the world’s Top 5 lithium producers were:

  • Australia – 52.9% of global production
  • Chile – 21.5%
  • China – 9.7%
  • Argentina – 8.3%
  • Zimbabwe – 2.1

      IASbhai Windup: 

  • INCREASING NUMBERS : The number of privately-owned motorised vehicles rose from 29 million in 2002 to 160 million in 2013.
  • EXPECTED JUMP : The above figure will almost certainly rise again, to over 500 million, by 2030.
  • HYDROGEN FUEL ADVANTAGE : In comparison to CNG, H-CNG allows for a 70% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions and a 25% reduction in hydrocarbon emissions.

Hydrogen Council (2020) on hydrogen cost competitiveness that states scaling up and augmenting fuel cell production from 10,000 to 200,000 units can deliver a 45% reduction in the cost per unit.

  • DEMAND FOR HYDROGEN : As per a policy brief issued by TERI, demand for hydrogen in India is expected to increase 3-10 fold by 2050.
  • POLICY INTERVENTION : With State’s support battery manufacturers by supplying lithium and cobalt, this industry is more likely to grow domestically to support India’s goal to switch to electric mobility.

The State is taking initiatives to take the front seat in electric mobility.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in 2021 | UPSC

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