India plans to drive the internal combustion engine to extinction. The Narendra Modi government has set a sales target of six million electric vehicles by 2020 with an even more ambitious goal of having sales of new oil-driven vehicles ceasing by 2030. It is not clear if these targets include plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles or refer only to electric battery cars. The benefits for a country whose cities are choking on air pollution and one that is considered among the most vulnerable to climate change are obvious. There are gains for the macro-economy if electrification allows India to reduce its oil and gas import bill, already the fastest-growing among the major economies. Finally, if India can develop a suitable technological lead and manufacturing base for such vehicles, it could allow the country to leapfrog ahead of others in the automotive sector.

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