On 15 May, a sea of black suits parted to let Tarun Mehta reach the stage. Mehta, the wunderkind of electric mobility, is the co-founder of Ather Energy, a manufacturer of high-end electric scooters. He’s dressed in blue jeans, a burst of colour among the monochrome suits. Sitting squarely in the middle, Mehta’s found his pulpit at an industry conference of auto manufacturers and component makers being held in Delhi.
Long way from home
The Mexican standoff holding up India’s EV localisation ambitions
The government is dead serious about going 100% electric. A traditional auto industry is unable to shake its inertia. Meanwhile, younger EV start-ups are revving up to get ahead
Four policy decisions and one budget announcement later, India’s ready to take off in a global race towards electrification
But constant policy shifts have left the auto industry unsure about investments in EVs. This has hampered local research and production
Policy has doubled down. The government wants EVs to have 50% localised components to be eligible for demand subsidies
The political maelstrom has split the industry down the middle. It’s a classic stand-off between the old guard and the new blood. Who’s going more local?