In February, I gave an hour-long presentation at a top investment conference in Mumbai, India. Right before me, Piyush Goyal (India’s Minister of State for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy) also gave a long presentation. The message from both of us was clear: cleantech is the future, and India should jump into that future rather than be a laggard. (Note, however, that I focused on clean electricity and electric vehicles, while Mr. Goyal focused only on electricity.)
One month later, Mr. Goyal stated that India should become the first fully electric car nation in the world. He commented that he and other leaders were working on a plan to make every car in India electric by 2030. That news was a bit of a shocker, since India isn’t even close to leading in the EV sector right now and the leadership hadn’t said much about electric vehicles up until then. Nonetheless, I think this is a completely sensible target that demonstrates strong foresight, and it comes from an administration that has happily shocked the world with its clean energy ambitions and implementation, so I’m happy to see that an ambitious EV policy plan is also in the works.
Now that part of India is facing a massive fuel crisis, the message is that much more potent. (Tip of the hat to “wattleberry” for sharing the news with me.) If you haven’t seen stories on this yet, here’s a short summary from BBC: “The north-eastern Indian state of Tripura has found itself in the middle of an acute fuel crisis after monsoon rains and landslides badly damaged a highway that connects the remote region to the rest of the country…. A huge shortage of petrol and diesel has forced the shutdown of key services and led to fierce protests in Tripura for nearly six weeks now.”
The rest of the story is basically about angry mobs, opportunistic politics, and some of the challenges this fuel crisis is bringing to the region.
As the title notes, this crisis presents a strong push for electrification of transport. If you tag on illogical human-killing pollution, the high cost of gasoline and diesel, energy independence, and the need for the second-most-populated country on earth to do its part to stop global warming, my opinion is that it would be absurd to not aim for the “electric car nation gold medal.”