The Top 5: Challenges to EV Growth in 2023

Highlights :

  • Several challenges to EV growth in 2023 are lack of a standard for fast charging, lack of rural infrastructure, e-waste, supply chain disruptions, and performance

The calendar year 2022 turns out to be a significant year for electric vehicles (EVs) with sales hitting new highs globally and in India.  According to data available at the VAHAN portal, EV sales grew from 3.2 lakh units in 2021 to nearly 10 lakh units in 2022, a growth of over 200 per cent. While the positive sentiment is expected to lead EV growth to further market penetration in 2023, several challenges must be taken care of.

#1 Universal Fast Charging is Still a Distant Concept

Level 3, commonly called DC fast-charging, though is in vogue for obvious reasons, the fact that there is still no universal standard charging socket for DC fast-charging is quite annoying. However, there is another perspective to this which quite explains the “delay” for any standards. At the current stage, EV technology still needs a plethora of research and innovations to fully deliver on its potential. In a way, not making haste in setting a standard early on is good as it allows manufacturers to experiment and drives innovation.

However, this forms one of the prime challenges to EV growth prospects as customers may shy away with a fear of not being to find a suitable charging option in an emergency, rendering an EV switch a less attractive option in front of ICE vehicles.

#2 Rural Areas Lack Infrastructure

There is a valid criticism against EV technology when it comes to rural areas – it lacks infrastructure. This makes it less attractive for consumers to switch to EVs from conventional vehicles. Considering that a large portion of the Indian population is still engaged in rural occupations, EV has an incredible scope of growth in the regions. However, the lack of infrastructure has posed a severe challenge to its growth in the untapped rural market.

While most major cities have seen an adequate increase in infrastructure, the rollout in rural areas remains slow. India is gradually setting up charging stations across the country, but with the growth of EVs, this too is expected to speed up.

#3 Segregation of E-waste

The Government is ramping up its efforts to promote EVs in particular and renewable in general. While the push and growth of EVs are inevitable, it is crucial to design early and systematic segregation of E-Waste being generated out of this new adoption. A proper disposal plan and dedicated recycling units will ensure the entire EV ecosystem is truly sustainable.

#4 Supply Chain Disruptions

International events like Covid-19 led to supply chain disruptions of many essential resources required for EV manufacturing affecting fluent EV growth. The disruptions still pose a challenge to EV growth in 2023, especially the short supply of semiconductors and lithium-ion batteries. Innovations in batteries are a breather which may be beneficial in placating the challenges to EV growth through this year. Battery costs have also remained stubbornly high from 2021 onwards, making a serious dent on auto makers hopes of dropping prices further to reach larger markets.

#5 Matching up to Traditional Vehicle Performance

Performance concerns about EVs revolve around battery technology and its innovations. With the resurgence of technologies like solid-state batteries, the performance of EVs is bound to improve. For now, the performance factor is still among the biggest challenges to EV Growth, even in 2023. Matching up to the load-bearing, speed, and user experience of traditional vehicles is what’s stopping EVs from becoming the undisputed first choice of consumers. The year 2022 saw improvements on this front, while there remains a lot of scope for the development of EVs on this front.

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Junaid Shah

Junaid holds a Master of Engineering degree in Construction & Management. Being a civil engineering postgraduate and using his technical prowess, he has channeled his passion for writing in the environmental niche.