Electrification is a key decarbonization strategy to achieve net zero goals. This will require a shift from the business-as-usual approach for unprecedented deployment, and enhanced international cooperation. India’s electrification story has interesting parallels to the evolution of ZEV policy in California. California has among the world’s most advanced ZEV policies and has an ambitious 100% ZEV mandate by 2035, signed by the Governor. India has led with innovations in public procurement to spur EV adoption in public transportation, and electrification of last mile passenger and freight mobility in cities. While the two regions have unique differences, such as India’s large portfolio of two and three-wheelers, there are also common challenges such as electrification of hard-to-abate segments including medium and heavy-duty trucks.
Both regions can provide important learnings on using innovative policy design and strategic public institutions to leverage EV technology and capital to accelerate EV deployment. A California-India ZEV Partnership provides a unique opportunity for sub-national policy design as a lever for vehicle electrification, and importantly, harness the role of states as key laboratories of innovation, in both the countries and the global south.
India and California have shown continued global climate leadership at COP26, including joining the ZEV Alliance to advance ZEV adoption and promote international cooperation. India and the U.S. also announced a strategic climate partnership in September 2021 which identifies EV cooperation as a key thematic area. The California-India ZEV Policy Collaboration will aim to greatly elevate the research and implementation focus brought to the transportation decarbonization policy process in India and California, providing an opportunity to engage policymakers globally in well-orchestrated efforts.