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India: 6 Million Electric Vehicles By 2020, Why It May Work

With most electric cars currently selling in no more than four-figure sums each month, a time when they’re selling by the million looks an awfully long way away.

In India, that time might arrive a whole lot quicker.

The country’s National Council for Electric Mobility (NCEM) has approved a $4.1 billion plan to sell six million hybrid and electric vehicles over the next eight years.

While six million hybrids on their own is easily achievable–it’s not out of the question that a company like Toyota could sell that number on its own, giving their increasing hybrid sales–the target may look a little optimistic for all-electric vehicles.

However, we think that electric sales in the millions aren’t out of the question in India, even given the relatively near 2020 target. In the U.S, most are predicting that the one million plug-in mark will be reached in around 2018.

One reason for that is the type of vehicles being sold. As InAutoNews reports, four million of those six million hybrids and electrics are expected to be two-wheelers.

In countries like India, where household incomes are relatively low, two-wheelers are still the most cost-effective means of transportation, particularly with electric vehicles that tend to cost a little more. A study in 2010 revealed that 12 percent of commuting traffic in India is on motorcycles, far higher than anywhere else.
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