India poised to lead the world in advanced passenger mobility

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Rapidly evolving technologies and business models for delivering mobility services have dramatic potential to transform the global transportation sector in the years ahead.

New and fundamentally different pathways are emerging to provide clean, cost-effective mobility services, creating new jobs, reducing oil import dependence, achieving more efficient land use in cities, and improving public health.

India is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these developments due to a set of advantageous conditions and capabilities.

In contrast to supportive forces, India faces challenges perpetuated by the trend towards privately owned vehicles, reinforcing the importance of an alternative mobility future.

Every day, nearly 50,000 new motor vehicles (2-, 3-, and 4-wheelers) register in India, with a 10% increase in vehicle registration annually for the past decade.

Despite a very low number of vehicles per capita, traffic congestion and pollution are already serious issues in India.

According to a 2016 World Health Organization study, India is home to 10 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities.

In 2015, India imported more than 80% of its oil at a cost of Rs 4.2 lakh crore. Traffic accidents cause around 1.5 lakh deaths per year on Indian roads.

In February 2017, NITI Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute jointly hosted a two-day charrette with diverse and senior participation from government and industry to explore India’s potential to lead the world in shared, electric, and connected mobility solutions.

During the event, participants identified actionable and specific solutions that could catalyse India’s mobility transformation.

The outcome of the charrette and additional research and engagement confirmed that India is poised to leapfrog private-vehicle ownership and traditional development pathways and to move faster than any other nation towards a new model.

Yet concerted action at the central, state, and local government levels, enhanced coordination among central government ministries, and collaboration with the private sector will be required for India to realize the full potential of a mobility transformation.

The convergence of low-cost technologies, smart design and integration, innovative business models, and supportive policies has established certain market segments as economically viable today. Capturing those segments immediately can lay a supportive foundation for the nation to build on.

Assembling the components of the mobility transformation in a few leading geographies (i.e., lighthouse regions) can support rapid learning about system integration to prepare India for scaling and deploying integrative solutions.

While a shared, electric, and connected mobility system is the pinnacle and end goal of India, additional xEV technologies (i.e., EVs, including hybrids, or HEVs, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs) can play important roles in cleaning the air, reducing congestion, saving lives, improving access, and strengthening India’s economy today.

(Source: Niti Ayog)

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