Drawing parallels in India’s electrification policy

The push for electrification in India in recent years has interesting parallels to the evolution of ZEV policy in California. Going back to 2013, India launched the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), followed by the FAME Scheme for demand incentives in 2015. In 2017, India also announced an ambition of achieving 30% EV sales by 2030. These have facilitated a clear policy intent of the Government of India towards road transport decarbonization, and more specifically, vehicle electrification. More recently, India announced industry incentives for EV component and cell manufacturing, also known as Production Linked Incentives (PLI). India has a unique opportunity to leapfrog technology with the right policy pathway to facilitate a ZEV transition. To achieve this within the time frame of addressing climate risks and potential net zero goals, the business-as-usual approach may not suffice, and the learnings from the California ZEV experience can provide an important knowledge base for India to chart its own transition pathway. Further, the role of California as a state government and collaboration with potential other Indian states in addition to the Government of India, can provide a unique opportunity to leverage sub-national policy design as a key lever for vehicle electrification targets, and more importantly, harness the role of states as key laboratories of innovation.