India delays plan to roll out 10,000 electric cars to 2019 

India has delayed the deadline to put thousands of electric vehicles on the road by nearly a year, which could delay its goal of having electric vehicles comprise about a third of vehicle sales by 2030.

State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), which is responsible for procuring electric cars to replace the petrol and diesel vehicles used by government officials, will roll out the first 10,000 vehicles by March 2019, Saurabh Kumar, EESL managing director said.

EESL issued its first tender for 10,000 cars in September. It planned to roll out 500 cars by November. The state tender is seen as the largest driver for EV demand in India at least during the next three to five years, in the absence of state subsidies that could spur consumers to purchase electric vehicles, as well as the lack of electric charging stations.

“The need for building more charging points for 10,000 electric cars and states being slow in taking deliveries are the reasons for the delay,” Kumar said. He said that currently there are approximately 150 cars in New Delhi and about 100 in southern Andhra Pradesh state and other provinces. More than 100 of the 200 electric charging stations being built for electric vehicles are located in the capital city of New Delhi.

In an attempt to curtail air pollution in Indian cities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government aims to have more than 30% of vehicles powered by electricity by 2030. However, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that EVs will comprise only about 7% of car sales in India by 2030.

Explore more on these topics