Seven Asian countries recently convened in New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) for a two-day international study tour. The purpose of this gathering was to showcase the remarkable progress made by India in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, underscoring its dedication to sustainable transportation. The event was a significant part of the comprehensive four-phase training program initiated by GCAP ALP (Global Climate Action Partnership – formerly LEDS Global Partnership) in May 2023. The program planned to tackle crucial subjects pertaining to EV batteries, EV manufacturing, and battery innovation. This event further solidified India’s commitment to advancing EV technology.
Objectives of the International Study Tour and the Participants
Place: New Delhi, India
Date: January 30 and 31, 2024
The Study Tour in India was a two-day in-person event from 30th – 31st January 2024. The study tour allowed participants to visit and learn about electric vehicle manufacturing, battery recycling, and reclaiming facilities. Officials and representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam came together for a knowledge exchange program focused on India’s progress in electric vehicle manufacturing and battery innovation. This program, organized by the Asia LEDS Partnership (ALP) and supported by NITI Aayog, aimed to promote low-emission, climate-resilient growth in Asia. ICLEI South Asia played a crucial role as the secretariat for ALP, bringing together organizations and experts in this integrated training initiative.
The Key Strategies for Successful EV Implementation
During the event, Sudhendu J. Sinha, Adviser for Infrastructure Connectivity & Electric Mobility at NITI Aayog, India, outlined the importance of three crucial strategies for the successful expansion of electric vehicles (EVs). He urged that these strategies could include launching a robust awareness campaign with concise and targeted messages, promoting technological advancements to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of EVs, and establishing a sustainable business model that caters to the entire value chain of the EV ecosystem.
Indian Government’s Efforts
With the Niti Aayog official
In a significant collaborative effort through NITI Aayog, the Indian government aims to promote a green and sustainable growth agenda for the global economy. Furthering these ecological efforts, India launched the ‘E-Amrit‘ web portal, developed and hosted by NITI Aayog. E-Amrit aims to raise awareness about electric vehicles (EVs) and educate consumers about their benefits. India has recently taken various initiatives to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility and decarbonization of transportation. Schemes like FAME and PLI are crucial in creating an ecosystem for early EV adoption. NITI Aayog seeks to incentivize the manufacturing of EV batteries. They believe that producing Li-NMC and LFP active materials from critical mineral precursors alone can contribute around 12% to domestic value addition in lithium-ion battery (LIB) pack manufacturing. This initiative is significant as India is heavily investing in electric vehicles.
Overview of the Study Tour
During the visit, participants took the opportunity to delve into the world of electric vehicle manufacturers to gain valuable insights. The focus was on various aspects, including battery technology, manufacturing processes, and recycling. This collaborative learning tour aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the techniques employed by manufacturers in the EV industry and shed light on their responsibilities. The study tour proved a valuable experience for the participants, who expressed their appreciation for the insightful and enriching outcomes.
Actionable Insights From Participants and Tour Activities
Prillya Agusti, an Environmental Impact Control Officer from the Center for Sustainable Transportation Management in Indonesia, said that the discussions during the tour went beyond mere theory. They provided practical and actionable insights into strategies for enhancing battery life and efficiency. Further, she stated that these insights could be critical in making the electrification journey more sustainable and robust in their respective countries. She emphasized the importance of sharing experiences and learning from each other’s advancements as it paves the way for a greener and more efficient future. They believe that an international collaboration, such as this study tour, is essential for a sustainable transportation ecosystem.
During the study tour, participants had the opportunity to explore cutting-edge facilities of renowned companies like LOHUM in Greater Noida and Omega Seiki Mobility in Faridabad. LOHUM is widely recognized as a leader in battery recycling and circularity in India, while Omega Seiki Mobility is a trailblazer in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.
Emani Kumar, Executive Director of ICLEI South Asia, the secretariat for Asia LEDS Partnership, said that these visits further emphasized the significance of ensuring circularity in the battery system through recycling and repurposing. He pointed out the need to manage EV battery hazards, improving battery life and efficiency. Additionally, he highlighted points such as understanding the critical mineral lifecycle and gaining insights into the manufacturing process of electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and freight vehicles.
These visits provided valuable insights into the advancements and challenges in the EV industry and the measures the participating nations are taking to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility. With the increasing adoption of EVs, it is crucial to prioritize circularity in the battery system to ensure a clean and efficient future for electric mobility.
ALP’s Role in Promoting Clean and Sustainable Transportation in Asia.
The study tour served as a collaborative platform for the seven participating countries of Asia, fostering the exchange of knowledge and best practices.
Abu Naser, Deputy Secretary of the Road Transport and Highways Division, Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges in Bangladesh, emphasized the significance of the insights gained in battery innovation and recycling. He said that this valuable information will play a crucial role in shaping the future of Bangladesh’s electric vehicle (EV) sector and its sustainable mobility policies. Further, he asserted that Bangladesh has set a target to increase EV adoption to 30% by 2030, aligning with its national commitments.
This exposure will enable the country to establish a powerful and efficient framework. The official also said that moving forward, they will conduct a comprehensive gap analysis to identify areas for improvement. With the support of the ALP, Bangladesh plans to implement effective policy measures to address these gaps. Their ultimate goal is to advance in the EV sector, reduce carbon emissions, and promote green transportation in Bangladesh.
Brief of the Phase I Training Sessions and Testimonials
Ms. Minta Poowatanavong, an Engineer at the Professional Level in the Division of Energy Efficiency Promotion, Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), Ministry of Energy, Thailand, expressed her enthusiasm for sharing the insights gained from the ALP EV Battery Training Series. This training series, organized as part of the third phase of the Global Climate Action Partnership (GCAP), commenced in May 2023 and focused on practical learning from India’s leading EV manufacturing and battery recycling facilities.
Ms. Poowatanavong highlighted the significance of this initiative, which followed two successful virtual training sessions in May and June 2023, dedicated to exploring EV battery circularity and lifetime performance. Having gained a comprehensive understanding of battery recycling intricacies, she emphasized the importance of transitioning from discussions to implementation in Thailand. She said that learning from India’s advancements and developments in this field has been particularly enlightening, with valuable lessons that can be adapted and applied in the Thai context. Ms. Poowatanavong emphasized that this knowledge exchange is a crucial step towards a more sustainable future and expressed her excitement to contribute to developing effective recycling plans in Thailand.
Accomplishments and Predictions for India’s Progress in the EV Industry by 2024
By 2024, India’s electric vehicle (EV) industry will have made significant strides in manufacturing and global market expansion. Despite initial disruptions caused by updates in the FAME-II subsidy scheme, the electric two-wheeler market has displayed resilience. Today, the market is stabilizing, with pricing approaching non-subsidy levels, signifying an era of maturity. Kumar stated that the adoption of EVs is not limited to major urban areas anymore, as there is a noticeable increase in uptake from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Meanwhile, the public transport sector witnessed changes, with electric buses, three-wheelers, and two-wheelers gaining substantial momentum. This trend is creating emissions reduction and sustainability in the EV industry.
India’s Commitment to Sustainability
The EV market in India encompasses an array of vehicles, including commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and two-wheelers. India also keeps a particular focus on commercial vehicles. This diverse range of offerings reflects India’s expanding presence in the EV sector since it caters to diverse market preferences and consumer segments. This progress highlights India’s domestic manufacturing developments and its growing presence in the global market. Thereby, it underscores the country’s ambitions in the EV sector.
These initiatives are possible because of strategic investments, government support, and a commitment to sustainable transportation solutions. It is worth noting that India’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) rules require producers to fulfill their EPR obligations by ensuring that waste batteries are recycled through certified waste battery recyclers, further emphasizing the country’s dedication to sustainable practices in the EV industry.
About the Organizers
Asia LEDS Partnership: The Asia LEDS Partnership is a network in the Asia-Pacific region that brings together individuals and organizations from different sectors to create, foster, and implement Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS). It aims to develop strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic growth. The partnership comprises 421 organizations and 852 individuals, including government ministries and agencies from 14 Asian countries. Its goal is to create country-specific plans to prioritize environmental sustainability without compromising other global ecological concerns.
Global Climate Action Partnership: The Global Climate Action Partnership (previously known as LEDS Global Partnership) is an international organization that promotes knowledge and solutions for climate resilient and low-carbon development. It has the guidance of climate leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and it encourages collaborative climate action, peer learning, and innovation. The GCAP supports country leadership and regional communities to implement necessary changes for low-carbon and climate-resilient development.
The Roadmap with Different Phases
It was part of a four-phase training program initiated by GCAP ALP that first began with Phase I in May 2023 to address topics related to EV batteries. Phase I of the training program had two virtual training sessions. The first session, held on May 31, 2023, focused on EV Battery Circularity – Supply Chains and Manufacturing. It introduced fundamental concepts and featured the Lithium Ion Battery Resources Assessment Model (LIBRA) developed by NREL.
The second session, on June 7, 2023, emphasized EV Battery Lifetime – Performance and Secondary Use. The second session emphasized EV Battery Lifetime – Performance and Secondary Use. It highlighted the importance of recycling in reducing costs and environmental impacts. NREL’s Battery Lifetime Analysis and Simulation Tool Suite (BLAST) could predict battery performance and assess reliability for secondary-use applications. Phase 2 of the training series was an in-person side event at the Clean Energy Ministerial on July 22, 2023, in Goa, India. GCAP led the event in partnership with GIZ’s NDC Transport Initiative for Asia, NITI Aayog, and the U.S. Department of State.
The Purpose of the Leadership Group for Clean Transport in Asia (LG-CTA)
Members of the Leadership Group for Clean Transport in Asia (LG-CTA) are the participants who attended this workshop. Organized by the Asia LEDS Partnership (ALP), this workshop is a regional platform under – the GCAP in Asia. The purpose is to collaborate and promote clean and sustainable transportation in the region. The group consists of policy and technical leads who receive support from multilateral activities focused on the priorities of member countries. The main objective of the LG-CTA is to make progress in designing and implementing policies and projects that will contribute to achieving clean and sustainable transportation.
The sessions enhanced learning on EV batteries and identified priority areas for future events and activities. The event brought together government practitioners from LG-CTA and the NDC-TIA network.
Closing Thoughts: Appreciation of ALP and Multilateral Support with LG-CTA Initiative
Given the specific priorities and increasing adoption of EVs in various Asian countries, particularly in areas such as battery recycling, repurposing, and manufacturing, it is crucial to address their unique developmental needs. In this context, the ALP Secretariat offers customized capacity-building programs and technical assistance through the LG-CTA initiative. This initiative aims to provide multilateral support in these sectors, ensuring that Asian countries receive the necessary guidance and resources to progress in the EV industry.