The transition towards electric mobility offers India not only an opportunity to improve efficiency and transform the transport sector but also addresses several issues that the country is currently grappling with. The concerns regarding energy security and rising current account deficit (CAD) from rising fossil fuel imports can be addressed with the uptake of electric mobility. India is a power surplus country and is currently witnessing lower plant load factors due to lower capacity utilization.
As per the conservative estimates, demand from electric vehicles (EV) could greatly improve the utilization factor of underutilized power plants, as charging pattern of EV users, is considered to coincide with power demand during the non-peak hours in the country.
India aims to have an entire road network running only on electric power by 2030, an ambitious vision but one that is also riddled with many hurdles. Electric vehicles have distinct advantages in that they are cleaner for the environment, consist of fewer components in vehicle assembly and have the potential to be supremely efficient when compared to IC engines.
Electric vehicles promise zero tailpipe emissions and a reduction in air pollution in cities. The Indian government has created momentum through its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles schemes that encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EV), with a goal of reaching 30% EV penetration by 2030. The scheme creates demand incentives for EV and urges the deployment of charging technologies and stations in urban centers.
Even for established OEMs (in IC engines vehicles), EVs are completely new so they too are starting from ground zero (same as start-ups). They only advantage they have is ready access to capital for financing their R&D. Since EV technology is nascent and everyone is still in the learning phase, there is a good scope for doing R&D and making a high-quality product which will be better than competitors. Since the most common complaints about EVs are less range, slow charging time, battery replacement after 4–5 years, etc., the one who gives solutions to these common problems will be a winner in the long run.
The ICE360o survey has given important insights regarding skill levels which have confirmed that the proportion of formally skilled workers in India is extremely low, at 4.69% of the total workforce, compared to 24% in China, 52% in the US, 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany, 80% in Japan, and 96% in South Korea.
The pandemic has pushed the industry into a tight corners and layoffs have become an increasingly common occurrence. Lay-offs, though economically motivated, result in an increasing gap between skills required and the skills available in the market.
This all happens when the mismatch between skill, academic training, and employment has broadened to an extent where employers are unable to discover suitably trained people and simultaneously the youth are unable to find the kind of jobs they aspire for.
At a time when the entire mobility sector is changing it becomes more important than ever to upskill current employees and gear up future ones.
Through a surface level analysis, it is quite evident that the younger generations are predominantly up to date with what is happening in the industry. Accessibility to information and the dexterity to use electronics has enhanced the youth of today to research on older technology and use their creativity to adapt to current scenarios.
People from all around the world are stepping up and improving current technology. Around the globe, young people are stepping up, standing strong, and forging a new world for us all. It is evident that there is huge potential for the youth to get involved in what is potentially the biggest step in mobility, seen to date. Electrification of vehicles is certainly not unheard of but is definitely unventured grounds for most. In order to fully harness the energy, creativity, and pragmatism of young minds it is important to focus on upskilling instead of simply sticking to predefined syllabi. From a statistical standpoint, however, the ability to work and apply thought has not always been a guarantee to employment. From a statistic back in 2017, India has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Asia, standing at an astonishing 3.4%. This can have major impacts on the economy in the long run.
Electrifying India by Upskilling:
India is currently facing a major skill gap and this issue has been aggravated by the COVID 19 pandemic which we are all facing. All sectors in the engineering domain need to continually evolve irrespective of these conditions and we are preparing for the future by acquiring relevant skills.
We are inspired by the quote “In a world full of fish, be a shark”. Through models like Industry-Academia Collaboration, we hope to bring a pedagogic transformation to the impartment of relevant technical skills.
We aim to create a Learning & Technology Ecosystem focused on imparting employable and entrepreneurial skills. Currently, India has around ten thousand engineering institutes.
Around 1.5 million engineers in India are released every year from various colleges but most of them simply do not have the relevant skills required to be employed.
They end up settling for a job in a sector they are not interested in, thereby being counterproductive to both industries. Un-Employability is a bigger problem than unemployment.
Our major focus is currently on EV Technology, a sphere that is relatively new to conventional engineering modules and we see this as the perfect place to start our mission in upskilling the unemployed.
Co-Founder & Director | SkillShark EduTech
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or publishers.