Indian EV industry to grow post COVID-19: Shift from public transport, fuel crisis to push demand

Several sectors, including the EV industry, can look at the ongoing coronavirus lockdown as an opportunity. Here’s how the EV space projects a positive future once normalcy is restored.

By:Published: April 20, 2020 3:53:10 PM
COVID-19: Tips to take care of electric cars during the coronavirus lockdownImage for representational purposes only

As India, along with the world, battles the worst pandemic crisis of the decade, the economy is set to bear the brunt. Amid the stringent restrictions, such as the 21-day lockdown period, which has been extended, many businesses are halting operations, waiting for better days to come. Fortunately, several sectors, including the EV industry, are looking at this time as an opportunity. Here’s how the EV space projects a positive future once normalcy is restored.

Leveraging the growth of the online delivery industry

The lockdown that mandates people to stay home, has given a fillip to the online delivery industry. Promising safe delivery of all essentials, brands such as Big Bazaar, Grofers, BigBasket, Amazon, etc, have seen a decided growth in demand. This rise in demand is likely to sustain itself even after the lockdown is lifted. This is an incredible opportunity for EV players, who can tie up with delivery brands to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly supply chain for them. Both e-scooters and e-bicycles can be used by delivery brands, depending on the distance that delivery professionals travel on a daily basis.

Shifting away from public transportation

Currently, public transportation, including cabs, metro, and buses, has been put on hold to ensure the safety of the country’s citizens. Even when the lockdown is lifted, many people may refrain from using these services as a precautionary measure. In this scenario, EV’s will come to the fore, especially for the commuters who travel 40-50 kms per day. As a safe and economical mode of transportation, electric mobility is bound to gain scale. Moreover, school and college students who will resume classes after a long break might also be looking for safer travel options, giving a further boost to EV demand.

Sidestep the fuel crisis – go electric

States that have been the worst hit by Coronavirus – such as Maharashtra – are rationing petrol and diesel to discourage people from hitting the road. This, again, is a silver lining for the EV industry. While people are best advised to stay home, they can rely on electric mobility for emergencies such as food supplies or medicines.

Preparing for pent up demand

The Coronavirus outbreak coincided with the GudiPadva festival – a peak sale season for the auto industry. It is safe to assume, then, that all major players will have pre-bookings lined up. Consumers, on the other hand, will also be waiting for the lockdown to lift to place fresh orders. The demand for automobiles, including EVs, is thus, set to skyrocket.

Additionally, as China resumes production, the previously affected supply chain for the EV industry will be regulated. The supply and demand will gradually balance, and the industry will resume treading on its original growth trajectory.

Utilising resources for the collective good

These are harsh times, and every little contribution towards the health and safety of the public and frontline warriors will go a long way. Thus, brands can try to understand how their production and R&D teams can look beyond the core products for the greater good of society.

Several auto brands are using their production facilities to develop protective gear like face masks, face shields, gloves, etc.

Also read: Avan Motors renamed Nexzu Mobility: To launch Dextro, Dextro Plus electric scooters & ride-sharing service

Looking forward to emerging stronger than ever

Undoubtedly, this is a challenging time for sales. However, it’s the perfect chance for EV brands to connect with their customers. A lot of leading brands are utilizing this time to get in touch with customers through digital channels to boost loyalty and maintain brand awareness.

Further, brands are using this time to hire new people and train their existing sales and service teams, while also strengthening their internal systems and process. Since e-commerce is on the rise, EV brands may also use this downtime to create an online presence and garner more visibility.

By capitalising on the aforementioned opportunities, EV players will be able to regain their momentum once the contagion is contained. They will be back in action, stronger than ever, on track to lead the EV revolution in the country.

Author: Pankaj Tiwari, India Business Head, Nexzu Mobility

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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