An automaker in an island nation about the physical size of West Virginia has some big thoughts about electric-vehicle adoption. Anuruddha Lihinikaduwa, CEO of E-Lanka Automotive, says Sri Lanka - just 25,000 square miles big with a population of about 20 million people - will have 100,000 electric vehicles on its roads within two years, the Sunday Leader reports.

With the country trying to spur plug-in vehicle sales to reduce both pollution and nationwide refueling expenses, Lihinikaduwa says E-Lanka will be able to take on larger plug-in automakers like Nissan and Tesla. Import duties on EVs in Sri Lanka are just a fifth of what they are for gas-powered vehicles, and the government and E-Lanka are both working on an expanded electric-vehicle recharging network throughout the country. The stirrings for expanded EV sales are in already happening. India's Financial Express reported last month that India-based Mahindra was targeting Sri Lanka (in addition to Norway and the UK) as a potential new market for its battery-electric Reva e2o. Additionally, the president of the Vehicle Importers' Association of Lanka recently said the country would expand its network of charging stations to help boost sales of EV imports.

Still, the 100,000-EV prediction is awfully optimistic, especially given that there are just 60 (!) EVs in the country now and E-Lanka is only selling about six a month. Put another way, 100,000 EVs in Sri Lanka would equal about 1.5 million in the US, calculated out on a per-capital basis. There were around 100,000 plug-ins were sold in the US last year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 8 Months Ago
      The main problem for third world nations, is that there really isn't a market for EV's which are not practical in local circumstances. Like India, the affluent aren't interested, and the poor are just too poor to buy EV's in a nation with expensive, irregular power supply delivered through ageing, substandard infrastructure. It really does require a high levels of education, and suburban affluence to support an EV industry. (Solar panels aren't much use in a nation where they cost more than a house ! ). The Government elite in these nations, offer these 'green solutions' and similar solution to distract from the problems of poverty, corruption, and incompetent dismantlement. The elite educated part of the population feels better, while criticism from western media is distracted. Planning 'green transport' for a nation lacking clean water, or adequate sewerage for 85% of the population, is disingenuous.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        No. You do not need wealth. If you don't have wealth, good weather conditions suffice. Refer to China and the Philippines as an example of countries chock full of tons of folks on small EVs getting around just fine enough on 2 and 3 wheelers. Not unlike what they did before - they got around on 2 and 3 wheelers powered by gasoline...
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          @ 2 wheeled menace, It's good to see you back posting again :) China (PRC) is not chock full of EV's ! In fact despite huge incentives, EV's struggle for sales. But the PRC has now more than 600 million people in the middle class, (more than twice the population of the US ! ). The PRC also has extensive social infrastructure across much of the nation. Nor are the Philippines "chock full ", of EV's, the grid isn't the best, and the power supply in many areas intermittent. Currently, the Philippines has about 500 registered EV's, with maybe a few hundred two-wheelers. (out of 8,056.000 motor vehicles). ! Again, a lot of publicity, but very little reality.
      Technoir
      • 8 Months Ago
      Banning 2-strole engines would already be a huge step forward for these 3rd world hell holes.
      danfred311
      • 8 Months Ago
      Srilanka, make them. Light, aerodynamic, low rolling resistance, fast charge. Keep it simple.