The automobile industry of the 20th century was dominated by western automobile manufacturers from the United States and other European nations. The Iconic American automobile manufacturer Ford Motors, led the revolutionary wave of vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine ("ICE"). However, with growing concerns over rising vehicular emissions which make up a majority of greenhouse emissions, governments and automobile manufacturers across the world are seeking to transition from using fossil fuel combustion vehicles to electric-powered vehicles. Within the next decade, automobile makers plan to invest up to $300 billion on electric vehicle ("EV") technology.1 China which for decades played catch-up to German, Japanese and American automobile manufacturers is now positioned to lead the EV revolution and has transformed itself into the world's largest EV market.2
As nations around the globe are joining forces to reduce the impact of climate change, EV's provide an effective solution for curbing global warming. At the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the firstever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The Paris Agreement builds upon United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and seeks to bring all states together in a common cause to undertake ambitious measures to counter climate change and adapt to its effects. The agreement requires all parties to put forward their best efforts through nationally determined contributions and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. It also requires all parties to regularly report on their emissions and on their implementation efforts to ensure adequate checks.3 To achieve their emission targets many countries have resorted to placing restrictions on conventional gasoline and diesel engines, which has led automobile companies to accelerate the shift towards electrification.4
In line with India's Paris Agreement targets of taking a lower carbon emission pathway, the government of India ('GOI') has pledged to reduce greenhouse emissions by 33-35 per cent from 2005 levels, by 2030.5 The Indian automobile market is the fourth largest in the world and is set to occupy the number three position within three years.6 However, this growth has led to an air pollution crisis, with Indian urban centres ranking amongst the post polluted in the world, and an increased dependency on expensive crude oil imports. This puts India's energy security position at risk, in case of any volatile changes in the prices of crude oil.7India is currently the world's third-largest importer of crude oil and aims to cut-back on the crude import bills by pushing towards the adoption of EVs.8 In India, the transport sector contributes close to 10% of the total national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with road-based transport i.e. automobiles contributing about 87%.9 Battery operated EVs, which have a zero rate of emission, have been recognised as a viable alternative to ICE based vehicles.
1. Paul Lienert, Norihiko Shirouzu, Edward Taylor, Exclusive: Volkswagen, China spearhead $300 billion global drive to electrify cars, REUTERS (August 19, 2019), https://in.reuters.com/ article/autoshow-detroit-electric/exclusive-volkswagenchina-spearhead-300-billion-global-drive-to-electrify-carsidINKCN1P40H0.
2. China's Car Revolution Is Going Global, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK (July 20, 2019), https://www.bloomberg. com/news/features/2018-04-23/china-s-carmakers-want-todominate-world-s-next-era-of-driving.
3. What is the Paris Agreement?, UNFCCC (August 10, 2019), https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/ what-is-the-paris-agreement.
4. Charles Riley, The great electric car race is just beginning, CNN BUSINESS (August 19, 2019), https://edition.cnn.com/ interactive/2019/08/business/electric-cars-audi-volkswagentesla/.
5. India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution is Balanced and Comprehensive: Environment Minister, PRESS INFORMATION BUREAU ( July 20, 2019), http://pib.nic.in/ newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=128403.
6. Patrick Mcgee and Simon Mundy, India displaces Germany to become fourth-largest auto market, FINANCIAL TIMES (July 18, 2017), https://www.ft.com/content/73b7ccf6-1714-11e9-9e64- d150b3105d21.
7. Zhijie Zhang and Wanli Xing 2018 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 153 032046 https://iopscience.iop.org/ article/10.1088/1755-1315/153/3/032046/pdf.
8. Nitin Gadkari bats for biofuel, electric cars to reduce air pollution, cut crude oil import, TIMES OF INDIA (July 21, 2019), https:// timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nitin-gadkari-bats-forbiofuel-electric-cars-to-reduce-air-pollution-cut-crude-oilimport/articleshow/70196144.cmsslowdown.
9. CSTEP (2018), Roadmap for achieving India's NDC pledge, (CSTEP-Report- 2018-08), http://www.cstep.in/drupal/sites/ default/files/2019-01/CSTEP_RR_Roadmap_for_Achieving_ Indias_NDC_Pledge_Nov2018.pdf.
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