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Electric vehicles will become the future of transportation as Mozev brings the electric bus revolution to India

Show Notes

Fifteen years ago, Ankit Singhvi took a detour to the energy sector. In 2005, he narrowed his focus further towards renewable energy & the clean tech space. His company Mozev was the first company in the country to run commercial electric buses. The core proposition of Mozev is to make EV profitable for customers across the whole chain from start to finish. The name Mozev implies mobility across electric vehicles and Z is the Z factor. 

Why are there no EVs in India? Unlike the rest of the world, India has a value-oriented economy. At the consumer level, people look for value. Charging infrastructure is a bottleneck. Fleets are early adopters. Buses seemed to be the viable solution, having a unique form factor as they provide point to point connectivity. Routes can be electrified. This is not possible for other form factors. As we know, 100% of the market is fleets and if we start focusing on utilization, then we can work on making it profitable for customers. 

Developments in Mozev- When Mozev started, there was no government policy in place. 25 electric buses were deployed along our first route i.e the Manali-Rohtang route. The demand since then has been quite strong and now intercity buses have started. As utilization has been maximum, profits have soared. We have now started the first Mumbai - Pune route- electric buses. By the end of 2020, he hopes that their buses will be running across major intercity routes in India.

The electrification of freight = 10x the opportunity. There is now a broader trend of electrification of economies. Freight is by definition designed to carry weight and there can be a focus on long haul applications.

Government policy - Globally there is a strong trend towards electrification of transport. Concerning service road transport, governments have been driving adoption through strong subsidies. China is the world leader on both the demand and operational side. European countries like Norway use subsidies as criteria for adoption. India is doing it a whole lot differently. They started the National Mission For Electric Mobility Transmission launched in 2012-13 where their goal was to get seven million electric vehicles by 2020 in India. The focus was on two to three-wheelers and cars with no attention being paid to buses or trucks. 

The Ministry of Heavy Industries came out with FAME (Faster Adoption of EVs) in 2014. Learnings there were that subsidies weren’t generous enough to generate demand. At the market level, the government is a small operator in vehicles and traction was quite less. Ankit started the Electric Mobility Alliance which is a pan India NGO - all stakeholders like utilities, customers are involved. The focus was to reorient policy from vehicle level spend to look at lifetime spend and not just subsidies. He reckons that significant progress has happened in the last couple of years.

Ankit estimates that by 2025, 100% of bus sales will become electric!! The technology and infrastructure involved will become better. As a whole, consumer experience is better in electric buses and it's a solution which is both reliable and profitable.

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