The Indian government's decision to purchase 10,000 electric cars from Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra underscores New Delhi's resolve to curb rising air pollution in its cities.

The south Asian country joins China, France, Norway and the U.K. in pushing automakers to be ready with electric vehicles over the next two decades. A shift to environment-friendly cars will also boost India's energy security as the country imports more than three-fourth of its crude oil requirements. With fuel consumption growing at a scorching pace, India is set to be the fastest-growing crude-consumer in the world by 2040.

Still, New Delhi's push for green cars stumbles upon two major hurdles: lack of enough charging points and the high cost of batteries.

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