Electric scooters in India: Boon or bane?
By Sowmya Raju
Air pollution levels in India as well as around the world have been increasing year after year. Pollutants emitted every day by billions of vehicles are the primary causes of rising levels of air pollution. As a result, electric vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular in the country in recent years. Electric scooters are now becoming popular. Even though many people find E-scooters unaffordable, they can be rented through various applications and are available for rent. With more efficient and powerful electric vehicles being released every year, the electric vehicle industry is slowly revolutionizing the motor industry. Various E Sccoty stores have been opened across the country, not only in cities, owing to the demand for electric scooters in rural areas. Even the remote northeastern hill state in Arunachal Pradesh(Lekhi Village, Itanagar) has recently opened its first E Scooty showroom with various models of E Scooties. Business entrepreneur Neeraj Jain and the Mayor of the city Mr. Tame Phassang said to a reporter at the Space that the benefits of E Scooty emit less carbon monoxide and it is essential that E Scooties are used.
If the government comes up with renewable electricity like solar or hydroelectricity, eclectic scooters can completely run on renewable sources.
Electric scooters and bikes have many benefits and drawbacks, but do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?
Before we jump into the question of drawbacks, let us answer the question why?
All EVs are powered by lithium batteries. These are the same kind of batteries that are used in our smartphones, laptops, IPads, and many more gadgets. Many devices employ lithium-ion batteries, including electronics, toys, wireless headphones, portable power tools, small and big appliances, electric cars, and electrical energy storage systems.
The simple reality that electric two-wheelers are environmentally friendly is their biggest selling point. They don't use fossil fuels and don't produce smoke, so they don't pollute the air. This, however, is up for debate because the electricity required to charge these scooters will be generated primarily by burning coal, the country's largest source of electricity. This may not be the most environmentally friendly option unless the government develops cleaner electricity sources.
Mr. Amit Gupta, CEO, and Co-Founder of Yulu, a technology-driven mobility platform in Bengaluru that lets people rent electric scooters on an hourly basis, commented on EV sales in recent weeks. “We have seen an approximate 25% increase in the user base. This
is because the main selling point of our vehicle is that it is an electric vehicle and the price of
our service has not been affected by the rise in gasoline prices. The increase in the prices of
fuel has made Yulu a more appealing choice for transportation,” he added, citing the rise in
the use of rentable EVs.
While electric bikes and scooters are a little more expensive than regular two-wheelers, the money one will save on gas, in the long run, makes this an extremely cost-effective option. With rising fuel prices, an increasing number of people are opting for electric vehicles to save money on their daily commute. But, when electric batteries are damaged or also no longer provide a sufficient range, they must be replaced. Batteries typically last a year and range in price from Rs.13,000 to Rs.20,000, depending on the rating, brand, quality, and warranty. Also, disposing of the electric battery is a long process as it emits various chemicals into the earth that could be more damaging than carbon monoxide. Many devices employ lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, including electronics, toys, wireless headphones, portable power tools, small and big appliances, electric cars, and electrical energy storage systems.
Answering a question about the battery of E-vehicles.
The Simple Electric vehicle battery has a capacity of 2.5 kWh. This battery contains 600 g. of lithium, and keep in mind that it will last you 5 to 7 years before needing to be recharged and can be used in energy storage applications. In comparison, a petrol scooter uses around 2500 liters of petrol. Oil is far more important than lithium will ever be. In addition, India has the infrastructure to recycle lithium batteries in order to produce lithium-based materials, and some units have partnered with these companies to recycle batteries. While E-scooties have various other benefits such as low maintenance, less emission of greenhouse gasses, etc, they can be used only for short distances, because electric scooters have a limited range and are suitable only for short distances. This may be sufficient for a short commute to work, but it will not be good enough for long road trips or other activities that involve the use of automobiles
Why are EVs causing fires?
Lithium batteries come with a high ion density. This means that they have a high chance of catching fire. This is not only for EVs, any gadget with a lithium battery has a high risk of catching fire or even exploding causing damage to life and property. To avoid this from happening, as a precaution every lithium battery system has a battery management system(BMS). This protects the battery from overcharging and controls the power supply. Karthik Hajela, Co-founder and COO of Log9 Materials told DH, that the BMS is the brain of the battery pack and it decided the flow of power that needs to be flowing through the battery. It is one of the safety layers that are there with the battery. “But it is not the ultimate safety layer,” he added.
Although most EVs are manufactured in India, the battery that is sued in these EVs are imported from China. This is why the BMS is failing as it is being manufactured in India. Like in a household, all individual appliances have a fuse, it is important to have an overall fuse for the house. Similarly, it is essential to have a fuse over the BMS for every electric vehicle.
India is just stepping into the EV industry and in the last two years, sales have gone up to 200% in the year 2022. There is a huge development for Electric vehicles in India and consumers are slowly switching to electric vehicles.