India is on the cusp of a big transition in energy. The target is to have an all-electric fleet by 2030. This will have big implications for the consumer as well as for the larger macro-economy. Let’s try to imagine what we can expect in the medium term. The Indian market will start to change by 2022 and my gut feeling is that metros will shift to electric cars. Rural areas will still largely have internal combustion engines (petrol and diesel vehicles) and that too will change completely by 2050. Crude prices will start to fall with this change and could hit the $10-20 per barrel benchmark, depending on the market forces.
In another five years, technology will become very cheap—maybe just 10 per cent of the present cost—and it will be economically driven. The combination of electric vehicles and driverless cars is a deadly one that could eliminate even individual ownership of cars. Hiring an autonomous or driverless car will become so cheap and readily available that people wouldn’t need to buy cars. That’s where the current research is focused and that’s where the market is eventually headed.