Guwahati: Leading experts discuss the R&D needs of electric vehicles and deliberated on a road map for electric vehicle technologies at a brainstorming session.

“For India to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070, it would need de-carbonisation of the economy in a big way in several sectors. Transportation is one of them where the transition to electric vehicles and green hydrogen will be of critical importance,” said Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Advisor, Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Appreciating the large participation from the diverse stakeholder groups at the session he said that DST has already done considerable work in promoting R&D in EV in the last few years. There is a need to continue such efforts.

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A comprehensive technology program is needed that includes the development of appropriate battery systems like a solid-state battery that can withstand the high ambient temperature in tropical regions. Besides, given the large scope of activities required to be conducted, and the need for suitable flexibility in program management, there is a need to organise research programs as special purpose vehicles that can coordinate with several industries and academic institutions,” said Dr K Balasubramanian, Director NFTDC.

Dr Tata Narasingha Rao, Director, ARCI analysed the various subsystems involved in the electric vehicle battery as also the assembly and manufacturing processes involved in ensuring the safety of battery systems so that they do not lead to fire safety hazards. He also explained the immediate action required for ensuring high quality and safe battery pack. 

Presenting a comprehensive road map for technology development in India for the various electric vehicle components starting from basic research to applied research, application, engineering, and industrialization, Prof. Karthick Athmanathan, IIT Madras emphasised that considering the diversity of electric vehicle platforms and models that will be in India there is an opportunity to work at all levels and gain tremendous technology capabilities.

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Sajid Mubashir, Scientist DST elaborated on the major contributions by DST in the various initiatives by the Governments of India in promoting electric mobility in the country and highlighted that the department has helped to develop the full set of Indian Standards required for EV Charging Infrastructure, and recently contributed the draft standards for Battery as a Service (also known as Battery Swapping) for Light EV like scooters and autorickshaws.

Around 200 stakeholders from ministries, R&D labs, academia, and industry, who participated in the session, discussed the need to focus on acquiring capability in the major EV subsystems like the battery, motor, and power electronics and ways to overcome the various challenges to meet the Government target to bring about a big shift towards electric mobility to reach about 30% of vehicle population by the year 2030.

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