Why are car buyers not buying Electric Vehicles (EVs) in India? Reasons explained!
As the current government in India is focusing on the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) having pledged “all-electric car production effective 2030”. We will look at the factors affecting the acceptance of EVs in the Indian automobile market. Although in many European and North American countries electric cars are getting attention lately by the governments as well as public because of being environment-friendly. The situation in India is not that amicable for EVs. The world has recognised EVs as the way of the future, yet their adoption is slow in our country. So let’s understand the major factors restricting Electric Vehicles’ adoption in India.
1. There are many people who are still sceptic about electric cars. They still prefer the petrol or diesel ones as they believe that the electronic cars cannot replace petrol or diesel based cars. It’s all but a matter of mindset.
2. Although major automobile brands have announced their plans for the introduction of electronic cars, but as many of them are new to this technology they lack an effective implementation mechanism for the adoption of EVs in the Indian market.
3. One of the main problems that the electric vehicle buyers face is the limited range/variety available to them when it comes to choosing an EV. There is no electric car as of yet that can match the functionality or performance of the petrol or diesel based cars.
4. Also, the electric cars take time to get charged. Comparatively, a petrol or diesel variant just require you to open the slot and get the tank filled.
5. Electric cars are way more expensive than their fuel-based counterparts. In the Indian automobile market, an electric car can cost you around 8-10 lakhs and even more. On the other hand, a good family car in petrol or diesel variant can cost you around 5 lakhs or even less. For example, Tata Tigor Electric is expected to be launched at around INR 8-11 lakhs whereas its counterpart fuel version comes at a price range between 5-8 lakhs.
6. There is a lack of innovation and charging infrastructure in the Indian automobile market. Setting up the charging infrastructure all over the country requires a huge amount of R&D as well as money. A Grant Thornton CII report last year mentioned that the difficulties in establishing charging infrastructure are severely affecting the adoption of EVs in India.
7. To add up to the above point, the taxes levied on importing cars in India are extremely high compared to other countries. This is the premier reason that no company wants to sell cars in India that are manufactured abroad.
8. Most electric cars are meant for short distances which is a huge roadblock in their adoption in the Indian market. Also, problems related to batteries and their performance add to these woes. To quote an instance, earlier this year, Indian government officials reportedly refused to use EVs manufactured by home manufacturers Mahindra and Tata, citing poor battery performance. The officials also complained that the standard of batteries used in these cars was not up to the international standards.
9. Unlike the majority of the diesel or petrol based cars, who have easy access to service centres, the problems run deeper in the case of electric cars’ access to service centres as they have no or fewer service centres in many major Indian cities. Moreover, in the Indian car market, a simple mechanic can easily fix the major vehicle issues. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the electric cars as the local mechanics/technicians lack expertise in fixing even minor issues related to EVs.
10. The adoption of EVs is also getting affected by preconceived notions that our drivers hold. Some people still believe that electric cars can catch fire easily if they crash, which is not true.
11. At the time when EVs made debut in India, a large section of car owners compared them with golf carts. The reason for this was the fact that these EVs were way below par in performance compared to normal cars.
12. Electric cars’ charging is the major issue that EV manufacturers need to sort if they want to sell more such vehicles in the country. Currently, there are insufficient and unevenly distributed number of charging stations in India.
13. One more issue that EVs face is the fact that electricity bill varies from state to state in India. Paying electricity bill is expensive in many states, adding EV’s electricity consumption to this bill can put a heavy burden on a customer’s pocket.
14. Lastly, the use of most electric cars limits your cargo carrying capacity due to battery placement in them. While most petrol or diesel cars offer plenty of boot space.
In India, people lack environmental awareness and are still not too much open to greener initiatives such as the adoption of EVs. Moreover, the government too lacks will and policies supporting the investment in EV infrastructure. There are hardly a good number of subsidies provided by the government to EV manufactures or infrastructure providers. In addition to this, the government has launched a ‘Go Green’ drive, but the pace and results of this initiative so far are not satisfactory.