Why electric vehicle sales in India are low and it’s not just charging infrastructure

The list of electric vehicles sold last year clearly shows that EV sales in India were lower by around 20 per cent when compared to the earlier financial year.

By:April 22, 2021 1:53 PM
Ather Grid Charging Point

The SMEV or Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles has released a list of electric vehicles that were sold in FY20-21. The list clearly shows that EV sales in India were lower by around 20 per cent when compared to the earlier financial year. To give you a clearer picture, in FY20-21, 2.36 lakh electric vehicles were registered as compared to 2.95 lakh the previous year. SMEV says that this is the first time a decline has happened whereas it always has been a growth for the EV industry. In the two-wheeler segment,  sales of 143,837 units were recorded and this included 40,836 high-speed and 103,000 low-speed vehicles. As for the electric three-wheeler segment, sales of 88,378 were recorded. SMEV says that this data doesn’t include the electric three-wheelers that weren’t registered with the transport authority. In the 4-wheeler segment, the industry witnessed registration of 4,588 units.

Sohinder Gill, director-general, SMEV says that the reason for the decline is not only because of the charging infrastructure in the country but also due to various reasons. For example, few banks like Axis, SBI provide loans for electric vehicles whereas others outright refuse. It is imperative that the government also ask other banks to provide loans to EV customers. Sohinder also stressed on the fact that awareness is something that can be initiated by the government as many aren’t clear about the EV benefits.

A good thing is that e-commerce partners have adapted to EVs big time. Few like Big Basket, Amazon, Flipkart have got EVs in their fleet and these have helped save a huge amount of fossil fuel as well as lowered the pollution. The reason for the B2B sector to adopt EVs is because of the lower maintenance downtime associated with vehicles running on electric power. Sohinder adds that statewise EV policy too should be taken into heed and its implementation is important. In India, each and every state has its own electric vehicle policy and this could be a major factor for many not going for EVs.

Last but not the least, the charging infrastructure is not up to the mark and manufacturers should also note that not everyone stays on the lower floor. In case of a high-rise, swappable batteries make more sense.

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