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.