When is the right time to buy an electric vehicle in India

I would personally wait for a couple of more years before buying an electric car and it would probably be used as a second car. But one could go out and buy an electric scooter or an electric bike.

BHPian Silver Knight recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I was having a casual discussion on the phone about EVs in India with an auto enthusiast friend. We were discussing on:

1. How fast EVs will become the mainstream in India?

2. Will IC engines co-exist with EVs and if yes, for how long?

3. What will happen to the existing fuel stations?

4. Will the existing fuel stations offer normal fuels as well as recharging ports (High tension electric lines and fossil fuels are a deadly combination)?

5. Cost of the batteries. In the long term, will the cost of replacing batteries be more than the fuel cost (considering a normal car runs 50,000 kms in 5 years)?

6. What will be the resale value of EVs be considering a 5- to 7-year-old EVs may require a battery change. In that case, battery change will negate the savings made compared to an IC engine car.

7. What is the current cost of batteries inside these cars (Tata Nexon EV, Hyundai Kona, MG ZS EV et al)?

8. In future, will universal batteries come and then what will happen to the existing EVs?

9. Is it too early to switch to an EV, and why not fuel-efficient hybrids?

10. With a simpler technology, new startups will be venturing into EV manufacturing and sales. How will the established manufacturers react to it?

11. Will the price of EVs drop drastically in the future?

12. Should I buy an EV over an IC engine car now?

Here’s what BHPian anilntny had to say on the matter:

I think it is the right time to buy an EV. To start with, consider something like an Ather 450X. Here is mine. It is worth experiencing.

Here’s what BHPian M A D over CARS had to say on the matter:

I would personally wait for a couple of more years before buying an electric car and it would probably be used as a second car. But as anilntny pointed out, one could go out and buy an electric scooter or an electric bike. My uncle has an electric scooter in Kerala and I had it for a couple of days. The scooter could be used only for shorter runs with the speed maxing out at 50km/h.

I would be less sceptical in buying an electric scooter or bike as the investment is much lesser than that required to buy an electric car. The Hyundai Kona for example had a lot of issues with a lot of Konas being affected. I do not want issues like this after spending close to 30 lakhs on a car. I also feel that in the next ten years, the EV market is gonna grow a lot and many of the negative points of EVs like taking a lot of time to charge would be addressed. So I would buy an EV as a primary car only after at least 10 years.

Here’s what BHPian gkveda had to say on the matter:

I think it’s very prematured stage to go with electric vehicles.

Reason being:

1. There is no cost advantage when switching from ICE to EV. I think it takes time for manufacturer to pass on the cost advantages to the end user. Most of the cost saved (engine cost, complex transmission cost etc ) are being utilised today for R&D. Probably after a few years, I am with the hope that the cost advantage will be transferred to the end user.

2. Technically, the products today have come to market without a thorough impact analysis. Hence all of them suffer from quality and reliability issues. Only time will mature the products after manufacturers learn from their mistakes and wrong design implications.

3. Batteries that are the most important parts of the vehicles have never been able to meet the requirements when compared to ICE cars. Even the most inefficient fuel station will fill the cars with fuel within 10 mins. The battery charging can never be compared with fuel filling process. Not sure when we will be able to crack this issue. But without cracking this issue, I don’t think I will personally go with an EV.

4. The distance covered by the fully charged battery is equally important for me and I compare it with ICE before switching over from ICE to EV. In my ICE, I can easily cover 600 km and by spending another 10 mins in fuel station, I can cover another 600 kms. But, the practical range in an EV today is much lower compared to ICE. So, this will once again hinder me to switch from ICE to EV.

And I think time is the only factor that MAY improve all the above limitations in EV. So, the most important point. If I take risk and invest hefty amount on EV, what is the advantage that I get in return? In my view, I am going to get NOTHING in return even if I forego all drawbacks and invest on an EV. Hence, I would simply wait till what ever time required to resolve the above limitations. Till  I am personally satisfied with the level of improvement, I will simply enjoy the ICE cars.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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