It wasn’t long ago when spotting an EV on Indian roads seemed to be a rare sight. However, things have changed a lot in the last few years.
Electric vehicles are on a growth trajectory in India. Saying that every other car on the road is an EV might be an overstretch, although you certainly can spot a few regularly plying on Indian roads.
When it comes to the acceptability of EVs in India, Indian consumers are finally seeming to be welcoming enough to adapt to these electric vehicles. Earlier, electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers (electric rickshaws, and commercial vehicles) used to be quite common. Although, now even electric 4-wheelers are gradually becoming a part of the mix.
This naturally makes India a large market for first-time electric vehicle buyers. Hence, in order to ensure that they opt for the right electric vehicle for themselves, it becomes imperative for them to be educated about electric vehicles.
So, if you are a first-time EV buyer, or are planning to buy one anytime soon, this EV buying guide might come in handy.
EV Buying Guide in India: Things To Consider When Buying Your First EV
Personal Requirements & Preferences
One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying your own EV is to figure out how much are you going to drive your vehicle. Depending on your driving requirements, and day-to-day usage you can determine the right mileage, charging requirements, and the type of vehicle (SUV, hatchback, sedan, etc). Another thing to consider is whether you will be driving your vehicle within the city or you travel between cities quite often too. This is because depending on the range of your EV, you might have to explore the various charging options available. While the cities have plenty of options to charge your vehicle, there might be cases on the highway where you might not find EV charging points at regular intervals.
Price Considerations for Buying an EV
If you’re planning to buy an EV anytime soon, one thing that you should keep in mind is that you will end up paying a much higher upfront price for getting an electric vehicle. Currently, when you go out and explore the EV markets, the options for you might be far limited in comparison to the other internal combustion engine vehicles. As a result, you’re certainly going to pay a premium for buying an electric vehicle. One of the other reasons for the premium on buying an EV is that most of the components used in manufacturing an EV are imported, which adds to their price. However, one good thing about this is, to promote the adoption of electric vehicles across the country, the central government, as well as respective state governments, are offering additional subsidies on road tax, registration fees, and more under the FAME II scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles).
Financing Options Available
Financing your EV is another thing that you, as a first-time EV buyer should know about. Banks and other financial institutions are now providing special interest rates on buying an EV. Low-cost financing is usually a key barrier for EV customers in India. In order to further accentuate the lending participation by financial institutions, and increase participation from the lenders in the EV market, NITI Aayog has joined hands with the World Bank in setting up a $300 million first-loss risk-sharing initiative, which will focus on covering the losses associated with EV loans. EV customers can go ahead and compare the tax benefits and interest rates provided by banks for financing their first electric vehicle. You Might Like: EV Financing in India 2022: Making EVs Accessible for India
After-sales Service of an EV in India
After-sales care services are one of the most important factors that every car owner, irrespective of the choice of transmission, fuel, size, or purpose takes into consideration. When buying an EV, do ensure that the carmaker you choose has a robust servicing infrastructure in your region. Conducting your own due diligence when buying an EV can be quite beneficial for you. There are many reputed car manufacturers across India, that are now stepping into the electric vehicle space. You can try calling the nearest dealership and/or service center to ensure that your EV’s after-sales service would be a pain for you in the near future. Aligning your after-sales service with a car manufacturer who has their service center in proximity to your place of work or residence is always an added benefit.
Charging Infrastructure for EVs in India
In India, one of the biggest challenges that many EV owners tend to face is finding an EV charging station near their place of residence or work. This is where range anxiety kicks in and is also considered to be one of the biggest reasons why Indian consumers are skeptical about owning an EV in the first place. As of now, there are around 1,742 charging stations in the country according to a report by IVCA-EY-IndusLaw. If you’re considering buying an EV, ensure that the nearest charging station is in proximity to your place of work or residence. Or else, if there’s scope to install one at your place. Suggested For You: India's EV Charging Infrastructure in 2022: Know More Here
Technology Deployed in Your EV
Electric vehicles are still at a nascent stage when it comes to the technologies deployed on them.
They deploy complex technologies that are used to power them. Currently, most carmakers are using almost similar technologies. However, this is probably going to change as EVs start getting into the mainstream automotive market and carmakers conduct further R&D to fuel their EVs (pun intended). While many carmakers tend to provide regular technological upgrades on a vehicle, it is important to understand what’s the technology that’s currently being used in most electric vehicles and what’s the current status of the same. There’s no point in buying an almost-obsolete technology and then regretting it later on.
When it comes to batteries of an electric vehicle in India in an electric four-wheeler, there aren’t a lot of things you should be worried about. However, in any case, it is always better to check the warranty of a battery pack fitted in your vehicle beforehand. One thing to note here is that batteries are usually the most expensive component of any electric vehicle. Even a simple malfunction in the battery pack can lead to a complex and expensive repair fee that you might have to pay. Hence, knowing about the specifications of the battery pack, the warranty inclusions, and the other components should be looked into beforehand. Most carmakers provide an eight-year warranty or up to 1.6 lakh kilometers on their battery packs. This can be an important benchmark to select your next EV.
Conclusion: Finding The Right Electric Vehicle in India
If you are a first-time EV buyer reading this guide, congratulations!
You’ve already taken the first step towards a better future and an overall future-first approach.
When it comes to electric mobility, it is ascertained that the upcoming technologies will be able to cater to the rising demand, and tweak their offerings as per the consumer sentiment in the Indian EV markets.
For any first-time EV buyers, it is quite plausible for them to conduct their own research before making the first move toward getting their own EV.
In case, transitioning to an electric vehicle seems a little too daunting to you, you can opt for a hybrid vehicle first, and then eventually make the move, if and when it feels right to do so.
For any step that you take, it’s the first step that counts.
Frequently Asked Questions About EVs in India
What are the insurance costs for an EV in India?
When compared with the insurance prices for internal combustion engined cars, the cost of insuring an EV is a little on the higher end. This is because, the technology and the parts deployed in an EV are still going through a long-term technological transformation, and will eventually be able to compete with their fuel-based counterparts.
Can I have subsidies for buying an EV in India?
For promoting the adoption of electric vehicles in the country, the government, banks, and other financial institutions are providing additional subsidies for customers to buy an EV.
Are EVs safe?
Yes. Electric vehicles are completely safe and can be used quite effectively. You can read more here: https://www.blog.blu-smart.com/ev-fires-in-india-should-you-be-worried-know-more-here