Panel Paper: Assessing the Readiness of Indian Cities to Manage Battery Waste from Electric Vehicles

Friday, July 20, 2018
Building 3, Room 213 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kalyan Bhaskar, XLRI- Xavier School of Management Jamshedpur and Nikunj Kumar Jain, International Management Institute, New Delhi

Indian government launched a national program in 2012 to promote electric vehicles (EV) and, in recent months, has indicated intent to completely electrify India’s automobile fleet by 2030. This push to EV has been driven by numerous national and sub-national concerns including those related to energy security, climate change, and air quality. Indian cities have started incentivizing EV by using various policy instruments and different types of EV including electric cars and electric rickshaws have been introduced in Indian markets.

However, policies and the larger discourse on EV in India appear silent on the management of batteries waste from EV. Depending on the type of EV, the battery could weigh between a couple of kilogram (KG) to hundreds of KG and could contain several toxic and valuable metals. The challenges in managing batteries waste would vary with battery types but improper management of all battery types would result in many health, environmental, and economic externalities.

In this paper, using mix-methods approach, we identify barriers to, and assess the readiness for, implementation of EV batteries waste management in Indian cities. Using literature review we first identify the main barriers to waste management and future EV sales projections in India. Next using publicly available information on city planning and EV policy instruments, semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, and survey based quantitative research we answer our research questions. Initial results indicate inadequate infrastructure, large informal sector, absence of regulations, and improper city-planning for future EV batteries waste as the key barriers.

Full Paper: