What Would Make Indians Buy Electric Vehicles

In the contemporary era, environmentalists, governments, and environmentally conscious citizens have been highly anticipating mass EV adoption. The government has introduced various policies and targets for EV sales to encourage their production and adoption too.

According to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV), 3,400 electric cars and 1.52 lakh electric two-wheelers were sold in India in the financial year (FY) 19-20. The total sales grew by 20% compared to the previous financial year. However, the present EV sale in India is low. As per a study by lubricants major Castrol, most consumers in India would consider buying an electric vehicle by 2022, but most of them also believe that it won't be until 2025 that the majority of new cars purchased are electric.

In a survey conducted by Castrol, average consumers in India said they would consider purchasing an EV by 2022. However, 67 percent of consumers in India said they are adopting a "wait and see" approach. Over 40 percent of fleet managers said they await for the competitors to make the switch before they do.

We also conducted a survey to get a clearer picture. The results quite evidently showed that people in the near future would be willing to get their hands on EVs. Have a look below -

Challenges a consumer thinks about, before purchasing EVs

High ownership cost
For the people aspiring to buy EVs, the total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes the cost for acquisition, running, and maintenance, is the most important concern.

The time that the battery of an EV takes to charge is the second most important challenge to the adoption of EVs. According to a report, consumers in India said they require an average charge time of 35 minutes before they would consider purchasing an EV. This is several minutes longer than the global average of 31 minutes.

Choice of brands
Consumers have a huge impact on the famous brands in the market, which is a major factor that impacts the adoption of EVs. In a survey, 47.61% of the respondents said they were likely to purchase an EV from established brands only. However, 52.39% showed a willingness to buy an EV from a new entrant or a lesser-known brand if adequate customer support is provided. (Source: https://www.teriin.org/blog/what-would-make-indians-buy-evs-our-survey-has-some-answers)

The high price of EVs
The average cost of electric cars in India is much higher than the average cost of economical cars running on fuel. Even for the two-wheelers, the aforementioned statement stands the same.
Suzuki’s Raman added that under current circumstances, it is going to be difficult to make a good value proposition immediately unless the cost comes down substantially. According to him, a mass segment of EVs is still likely to cost two-and-half times more than the same vehicle type powered by a conventional petrol/diesel-run engine. (Source: https://inc42.com/features/what-are-the-challenges-for-the-ev-market-in-india/amp/)

Charging infrastructure
India has an insignificant number of charging infrastructure making it difficult for EVs to make their way in the consumer's mind. According to auto giant Maruti Suzuki’s research, 60% of Indian customers don’t have their own parking space. “There is no way they can charge the vehicle, therefore they won’t adopt it,” said C V Raman, senior executive director (engineering) of Maruti Suzuki India.

The modern technology of EVs is still unknown to quite a large population. Therefore, to have this technology adopted, consumers should be well aware of the advantages EVs bring with them. If the concerns of consumers such as range anxiety, charging infrastructure, high upfront costs, etc are solved, the EV industry would definitely witness a surge in few years.
The lack of knowledge about the features and positive aspects of EVs reduces the chances of its sale even to those who can afford its high cost. However, the overall consumer response towards EVs proves to be positive making it obvious they'd prefer electric vehicles in the coming time.

Published Date: 10th Feb, 2021

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