Kushan Mitra is an experienced journalist with over two decades of experience, specializing in covering the global automotive, mobility, and transportation industries extensively. He has worked with prominent media outlets such as The Hindustan Times, Business Today, and ThePrint, where he currently serves as the Managing Editor. Kushan also creates content on YouTube and shares personal insights on Instagram. His profile on Muck Rack showcases his work as a journalist.
The geopolitical implications of the automotive industry, particularly in relation to China’s control over the EV ecosystem and battery supply, raise concerns about national security and dependency.
Geopolitical implications of automotive industry
🎙️ The podcast is titled “geopolitics around the automotive industry” - interesting topic!
🛢️ The control of supply of hydrocarbon energy is a significant factor in geopolitics and the automotive industry.
🚗 China’s control over the EV ecosystem raises concerns about dependence on a country that is not a friend.
🚗 The geopolitics of the automotive industry raise concerns about dependency on China for manufacturing and resources.
🛢️ India’s leverage over Arab nations due to their economic dependence on the Indian diaspora contrasts with the challenges of dealing with China.
🚗 India is poised to become a major player in the automotive industry, with the potential to attract companies like Tesla due to its large market and potential for growth.
🚗 China is way ahead in the EV game and setting up the infrastructure, even ahead of the Germans, who are scared after what they saw at the Chinese Auto Show.
Electric vehicle technology and innovation
🏭 The potential for domestic production of electric vehicle components, including batteries, could be a game-changer for the automotive industry.
🚗 Bangalore has become an EV hub for IP creation, particularly in the two-wheeler and three-wheeler market, making India a key player in the shift towards electric vehicles.
🔋 The future of electric cars may depend on the development of solid state batteries, with companies like Toyota and Chinese manufacturers leading the way.
🔋 Electric vehicles have an unbelievable operational cost, making them more cost-effective for urban drives.
🔋 Electric car batteries can last up to 7.5 lakh kilometers if treated well, debunking the myth of short battery lifespan.
🔋 Mandating electric vehicles for airport buses and school buses could make a significant impact on the environment.
National security and dependence on China
🚗 The dependence on China for batteries in the automotive industry raises concerns about geopolitical implications and national security.
- 00:00 🌍 The geopolitical implications of the automotive industry's shift towards electric vehicles and the need for countries like the US and India to incentivize local manufacturing and processing of resources like lithium to reduce dependence on China.
- The podcast discusses the geopolitics surrounding the automotive industry with guest Kushan Mitra.
- The speaker shares personal doubts about the potential of Toyota's solid state batteries to solve EV problems, based on their experience driving a Tesla Model 3 on a long trip in the US.
- The geopolitical issue in the automotive industry is that India imports oil from countries like Russia and Qatar, without controlling its own supply of hydrocarbon energy.
- China has developed a fully integrated EV ecosystem and invested heavily in the charging infrastructure, leading to concerns about dependence on China for EV supplies.
- Vehicular pollution is a significant issue in the automotive industry, as the number of vehicles on the roads is increasing and will continue to do so for the next 20 years.
- The geopolitical implications of the automotive industry's shift towards electric vehicles and the need for countries like the US and India to incentivize local manufacturing and processing of resources like lithium to reduce dependence on China.
- 09:26 🚗 India's leverage in global trade is limited by lack of oil reserves and raw materials, but it can counter this by leveraging its relationship with Arab nations; India's automotive industry is attracting interest from Tesla and Chinese companies, with potential for domestic production of batteries and advancements in electric vehicles.
- India's lack of oil reserves and raw materials for electric batteries limits its leverage in global trade, but it can counter this by leveraging its relationship with Arab nations and their dependence on India.
- India is becoming a major player in the automotive industry, with the potential for Tesla to set up operations in the country and introduce a smaller, more affordable model for the Indian market.
- The lack of charging infrastructure in the US and India is a major issue for electric vehicles, making long-distance travel inconvenient and unreliable.
- India's automotive industry is attracting interest from Tesla and Chinese companies, but allowing China into the market could drive down EV costs while also posing a risk of dependency and hollowing out manufacturing in India.
- The value of electric vehicles is heavily dependent on the battery, and there is potential for domestic production of batteries in the automotive industry.
- Indian companies in the automotive industry are making significant advancements in electric vehicles, with a focus on creating innovative technology and IP, despite challenges such as government subsidies.
- 23:19 🚗 The automotive industry in India is investing in electric vehicles, but the lack of charging infrastructure and long charging times pose challenges for widespread adoption, while the development of solid state batteries could revolutionize the industry.
- The automotive industry in India is seeing significant investment and development in electric vehicles, with companies like Tata and Mahindra working on EV platforms and the government needing to support the growth of the ecosystem.
- Electric vehicles are not recommended for long trips due to the time-consuming charging process, even in countries with good infrastructure like America.
- The development of solid state batteries by companies like Toyota, BYD, and CATL could revolutionize the automotive industry by providing fast charging and great range, potentially making petrol cars obsolete.
- Electric vehicles have a range of 600-700 kilometers, but charging stations are not widely available and are often not functional, posing a challenge for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
- The speaker believes that the current infrastructure for electric vehicles is not sufficient for long-distance driving and that electric vehicles are only suitable for city driving.
- Electric cars are fun to drive because of their instant power and torque, and some fans get agitated at the speaker's driving style.
- 33:26 🚗 Electric vehicles are cost-effective for urban driving, with opportunities to transition to electric vehicles and incentivize buyers to purchase lower emission cars.
- Many people in Seattle have Tesla cars, and some also have Ford F-150 trucks.
- Electric vehicles are more cost-effective for urban driving due to their low operational cost, but the capital cost is significantly higher compared to petrol vehicles.
- Electric cars can save a lot of money in the long run and the battery can last up to 7.5 lakh kilometers if properly maintained.
- Buyers in countries like India and America are not typically motivated by altruism when purchasing vehicles, but there are many opportunities to transition to electric vehicles, such as using them for airport buses and school buses, and many delivery services are already using electric vehicles due to the cost benefits.
- Using hybrid vehicles with lower tailpipe emissions could be a better option for people who don't drive much, and car taxes should be based on emissions.
- The government wants to incentivize buyers to purchase electric or lower emission cars, with a focus on promoting plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as a cost-effective and efficient option.
- 44:40 🚗 Battery swap technology is a more efficient solution for electric vehicles, but India's state transport corporations are hesitant due to financial concerns, while the automotive industry faces challenges with pension requirements and dependence on China for batteries.
- Battery swap technology is a more efficient solution for electric vehicles than creating numerous superchargers, especially for vehicles with monoco construction.
- Battery swapping works well in two-wheelers and buses, but large electric bus manufacturers in India are hesitant due to concerns about the ability of State transport corporations to maintain the batteries.
- State transport corporations in India are heavily indebted, and arguments against free bus travel are unfounded as the losses incurred are already significant, with many electric buses being run by private companies rather than the state.
- The automotive industry faces challenges with pension requirements and dependence on China for batteries, but the government is taking steps to promote manufacturing and improve public transport infrastructure.
- Japan and South Korea are investing in the Indian automotive industry, but the country needs to address vehicular pollution as a near-term solution.
- We may have to depend on China in the short term for resources, but we should aim to build technologies on our own terms and seek assistance from other nations like South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.
- 51:06 🚗 Gogoro leads in battery swapping for EVs in India and China, China allows Tesla to enter with a 100% subsidiary, and the importance of public transport in Indian cities is highlighted.
- Gogoro is a Taiwanese company leading in battery swapping, with potential partnerships and advancements in the EV industry in India and China.
- China allowed Tesla to enter with a 100% subsidiary in order to learn from Elon Musk, and there is talk of the government giving tax benefits to EVs in India to encourage companies like Tesla to establish manufacturing facilities.
- Incentives and favorable conditions are necessary for car companies to establish manufacturing bases in countries with low volumes of car sales.
- The Pakistani automotive market faces challenges with importing cars and the falling rupee, while in Delhi, electric vehicles are recommended to combat pollution.
- The speaker discusses the importance of the Metro in driving change and accessibility in urban areas, highlighting the impact on daily life and the automotive industry.
- Encouraging the use of public transport, particularly the Metro, in Indian cities can help alleviate traffic and air pollution issues.
- 59:55 🚗 Developing nuclear power and coal liquefaction for petrol in India is viable but challenging, Scandinavian companies suggested thorium and wind energy solutions, India's unique challenges in implementing automotive industry changes, rapid growth with environmental impact, and the need to consider employment and GDP impact, as well as the challenge of recycling batteries for electric vehicles.
- Developing nuclear power and coal liquefaction to produce petrol in India is a viable option due to the country's massive coal and uranium deposits, but the challenge lies in implementing it at scale.
- Scandinavian companies suggested ideas to the speaker, who discussed the potential of thorium and the use of wind energy in India to produce ammonia for fuel, questioning whether these solutions can work on a large scale.
- India's size and population distribution present unique challenges for implementing suggestions in the automotive industry, as many ideas sound good on paper but are often inefficient in reality.
- The automotive industry in India is growing rapidly, with air conditioners being the fastest growing consumer durable, despite the environmental impact.
- The government needs to consider the impact on employment and GDP when making changes to the automotive industry in India.
- Electric vehicles are great for city driving, but the challenge lies in the recycling of batteries for long-term sustainability.
- 01:10:13 🚗 Support the podcast by becoming a member, buying merchandise, or donating, and engage with the content through likes, comments, and ratings.
Note - This content is generated by AI, we believe it is accurate, but we don’t claim any liability of inaccuracies in the AI generated content.
Q: What are the geopolitical concerns surrounding India’s automotive industry and how is the country attempting to address these issues?
A: India’s automotive industry faces complex geopolitical challenges, notably dependence on petro states and China. Currently, India’s reliance on importing oil from countries like Russia and Qatar gives these states leverage, while China’s dominance in the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem, from battery manufacturing to charging infrastructure, raises concerns about dependency on a potentially non-friendly country. In response, India aims to develop an alternative EV ecosystem to reduce reliance on China and address pollution concerns. The country is witnessing innovation in the automotive industry with companies like Exponent Energy developing their own charging ecosystem and Bangalore becoming a hub for EV intellectual property (IP) creation. Additionally, Indian companies like Tata and Maruti are investing heavily in developing EV platforms and infrastructure, while the government is being called upon to encourage EV manufacturing and support the growth of the EV ecosystem in India.
Q: What are the implications of India’s high passenger vehicle sales in the global automotive industry?
A: India’s position as the third largest car market in the world grants it considerable leverage in the global automotive industry. Even when compared to major markets like Western Europe or the entire EU, India’s car market surpasses in size. This significant market presence gives India the potential to shape industry dynamics and influence global trends, including the transition to electric vehicles and the development of innovative automotive technologies.
Q: How do solid-state batteries and charging infrastructure impact the adoption of electric vehicles in India?
A: The emergence of solid-state batteries by companies like Toyota, BYD, and CATL presents a potential revolution in the automotive industry and specifically in the context of India. While solid-state batteries offer enhanced energy density, improved safety, and faster charging, the lack of functional charging stations remains a challenge for electric vehicles, particularly for long-distance travel. Although home charging makes EVs notably cost-effective to run, the current inadequacy of charging infrastructure limits their practicality for long-range driving. Furthermore, the insufficient availability of fast charging stations impedes the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in India, despite the significant cost savings and environmental advantages they offer.
Q: How is the issue of battery disposal and recycling being addressed in the context of India’s transition to electric vehicles?
A: The transition to electric vehicles in India is indeed accompanied by concerns regarding battery disposal and recycling. As the country seeks to embrace EVs, it is crucial to develop recycling infrastructure and provide incentives for sustainable battery management. Addressing the entire lifecycle of EV batteries, from manufacturing to recycling, is imperative for ensuring environmental sustainability and addressing potential negative impacts associated with battery disposal. Developing a comprehensive, environmentally responsible approach to managing end-of-life EV batteries is essential for India’s successful transition to electric vehicles.