Do you remember hearing about the hype surrounding electric vehicles (EVs) several years ago? The media has often been buzzing with predictions that EVs are the future, and that they will have a huge impact on our society and our environment in the next decade or so.
But as time passed, it seemed like the hype died down, and now we hardly hear anything about EVs anymore – why? And more importantly, does this mean EVs are doomed to failure? Let’s take a closer look at EVs in India to find out.
Reasons Not to Worry
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about EVs, but there are also plenty of reasons why they haven’t quite taken off yet. The fact is, a combination of factors like policy and infrastructure issues have held EVs back. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost! We’ve discussed main concerns about electric vehicles: cost, battery life, range anxiety and environmental impact. Read on to learn more about each one.
With giants like Toyota, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra entering into the EV segment, prospects for EV’s in India look good. But are these vehicles really worth buying? Are there alternatives available to us? Let’s take a look at some of the problems faced by EVs in the Indian market.
The main reason for low adoption is the high cost of electric vehicles which varies from 60 lakhs to 1 crore rupees or more depending on its range. Other factors like poor infrastructure and range anxiety have made it difficult for mass acceptance of electric vehicles in our country.
All of these issues are being addressed and will be solved through technology. And China is home to some of that technology—the country is leading both electric vehicle production and battery manufacturing. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China accounted for more than 50 percent of EV sales globally for four years running. In 2017, nearly half of all EV charging stations were in China too.
That infrastructure boost will soon become a competitive advantage: It’s not only helping Chinese companies win contracts around the world but also attracting foreign investment into Chinese companies working on solutions.
The USA and Europe
Both have a high demand for cars, which also means that both have high-quality electric charging infrastructure. This is one of many reasons why both are leading when it comes to EV adoption. High sales and a lot of government support means that these countries will continue to lead as more automakers release new models with longer ranges, better design, and lower costs.
They also have a lot of places where you can charge your car; electric charging stations are popping up around gas stations and parking lots making electric vehicles convenient to own wherever you live in North America or Europe.
India is having problems with electric vehicles:
The Government of India is helping people to buy an electric vehicle. Poor air pollution: The Government of India is helping people to buy an electric vehicle with its huge market share, but we should not be worried about poor infrastructure and range anxiety.
There is less pollution as compared to other countries. If the government makes its mind that every citizen of India should have an EV, then it will surely lead our country towards a green future.
While you should be considerate of your carbon footprint, electric vehicles (EVs) aren’t as green as you think. The production of EVs creates a lot of pollution and greenhouse gases. This pollution also comes with a risk to human health. Even after being charged, these cars require electricity to power their motors, which then creates even more emissions.
Will increase the electricity demand at a national level.
Despite high growth, per capita electricity consumption is still low as compared to countries like China. This does not mean that there is no problem, but we are just beginning to catch up. Only 16% of Indians use electricity for cooking purposes whereas 55% do so in China.
The government’s Vision 2030 aims at almost doubling per capita consumption by 2030 (from 1,045 kWh in 2013-14 to 2277 kWh). All along there will be an increase in demand for energy and energy products; especially those who are electrically powered. Buying a few EVs right now would lead only to higher cost of living and higher fuel bills later on when these numbers start increasing significantly.
Less performance for ideal economy:
EVs are usually less quickly than a conventional vehicle and by now, you must be familiar with the fact that performance is what we Indians crave for. Even if one has so much money at hand to invest in an EV, there’s still no guarantee that it will have satisfactory performance. Although EVs are slowly improving over time and more powerful batteries will undoubtedly be available soon, they’ll always remain slower than traditional vehicles due to their massive weight.
An EV’s impressive economy figures may make it affordable on paper, but when you can afford a Ferrari or a Lamborghini for only about 10% of your paycheck, why would you settle for anything less? Where does electricity stand at present?
Very few academic and local skill awareness:
Academic and local skill awareness about electric vehicles needs to be increased. In fact, any new technology can create anxiety but let’s get some perspective. Not only will zero-emission electric vehicles help address both issues by reducing carbon emissions, they have several key advantages over internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, specifically: Zero tailpipe emissions and no engine noise, which makes them particularly well suited for business use.
This could be a boon for cities like Mumbai, where air pollution frequently tops health risk lists and vehicle ownership continues to soar. Vehicle range versus refuelling time:: Battery storage capacity is increasing as well as fast charging stations so there are few issues with range anxiety anymore.
Lithium ion batteries don’t function well at high temperatures, so they’re probably not your best bet if you live in Phoenix. One 2014 study conducted by researchers at Rice University showed that lithium-ion batteries start to lose capacity as temperatures rise above 70 degrees F. At 80 degrees, they were down almost 25 percent. By 100 degrees,
which is common here during summer months, performance drops precipitously—by half after just 10 minutes of use (although most vehicles’ AC systems keep them cool enough that range suffers only slightly). Some EVs are better than others at maintaining range and battery life in extreme heat—some internal-combustion models do too—but generally speaking, you should plan on charging up more often if you live somewhere hot.
The electric vehicles have a totally different charging standard with respect to conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Whereas almost all conventional automobiles are charged using DC power, most of today’s electric cars use AC power. Further, some charge with proprietary connectors and connections that are difficult to use outside of their original market.
As a result, consumers may find themselves in situations where they don’t have access to an electrical outlet or they can’t afford charging equipment that is compatible with their vehicle’s native connector. This makes it difficult for them to get through a day’s work or drive more than a few hundred miles from home without having to recharge at one of the few public stations where such equipment is available.
Poor Infrastructure and range anxiety:
Yes, we all know that EVs have a shorter range than fossil fuel-powered vehicles. But range anxiety isn’t as big of a deal as many people think it is. For example, Tesla says its Model S is designed to travel up to before needing a recharge, while on average EV drivers will get between .
The truth is our lives are still built around refuelling and recharging times, not battery life spans. If your car can run for 30 miles without needing to be plugged into an outlet and you live within that distance of where you work and/or shop for groceries, then a hybrid or electric vehicle could meet your needs just fine.
Although electric vehicles are expensive, they have an infinite number of charges. For example, Tesla is famous for getting free fuel from its Supercharger stations. While a regular car can go on a full tank for $30 – $50 depending on where you live and where you go, charging your electric vehicle only costs about five cents per mile travelled. That’s over 500 miles for five bucks!
There are two main factors behind EV cost. The first is their price, which varies depending on their size, speed and range. Most current models available in India fall between Rs 11.99 lakh and Rs 12.99 lakh (ex-showroom). At that price point, EVs are comparable to high-end scooters (which are about Rs 5 lakh or so). Like a car, an EV can last for years – and ownership costs aren’t that much more than other forms of transport (about 20 per cent more expensive to run over five years versus a petrol or diesel car). And if you lease instead of buy outright, things get even cheaper.
EVs are indispensable and should ever disappear for sure if IC vehicle technology is not present. But more important is to choose EVs neatly.
Isn’t This the Right Time to Buy an Electric Vehicle?
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