Indicating a shift towards electric vehicles in the wake of continuous fuel price hikes coupled with rising ownership cost of conventional vehicles, a survey has found that an increasing number of Indian customers are willing to buy electric vehicles. According to the survey, 66% of the respondents said they were willing to buy electric vehicles, out of which 53% were strongly inclined to go electric. Among those surveyed, 13% were not yet ready for the transformation, whereas 19% decline to go either way. The survey, conducted by auto-tech firm CarDekho and Omnicom Media Group (OMG), was to understand consumer awareness, interest and apprehensions related to electric vehicles.
While 68% of the respondents believed switching to EVs will help reduce air pollution, 11% and 6% of respondents considered driving pleasure and lower maintenance cost, respectively, as the main reason for considering a shift to EVs. Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari recently asked the EV manufacturing industry to shift towards indigenous battery technologies, while assuring it of all possible assistance from the government.
At present, EVs contribute less than 1% of total vehicles sold, but the segment has the potential to scale up to 5% within a few years. In 2019-20, about 3.8 lakh electric vehicles were sold in India, of which 58% were low-speed three-wheelers and 40% were two-wheelers. The EV segment also comes with a few challenges. While 43% of respondents said frequent recharging will be a problem, 20% raised concerns over the reliability of EVs during long drives and inter-city travel. Another 16% considered inadequate infrastructure (charging stations) a bigger hurdle. Nearly 12% of those surveyed said pricing was an important consideration.
Respondents suggested manufacturers offer a full list of service stations in any city, accessories for easy and fast home charging, and an extended service warranty assurance for vehicles. The survey was conducted across India among potential four-wheeler buyers. Almost 40% of the respondents own an SUV and 29% own a hatchback, followed by 25% owning sedans.
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