If you thought fuel cars were the only option as electric cars are way beyond the middle-class approach, then you are mistaken.
The middle class always thinks long-term when it comes to investments and responsibility. Electric cars tick both these boxes. They are best suited for long-term plans and are sustainable, eco-friendly vehicles. Yet, the middle-class in India worry about the implications of adopting EVs before investing in them. In this article, we look at both challenges and benefits of going eco-friendly.
But first, why you should stop using fuel cars
- Global warming:
Fuel-powered cars emit pollutants containing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
- Hazardous gases:
Gases like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, benzene, and formaldehyde get produced from gasoline and diesel fuel. The most prevalent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is also released by vehicles.
- Not energy efficient:
Even if you can get fuel for your car, you won’t be able to go very far before you need to refuel.
- Low resale value:
Over time, a gasoline car’s fuel efficiency and engine power deteriorate. These elements explain why lifespans are constrained.
- Health dangers:
Ingestion, inhalation, and even fire incidents at gas stations impact your health.
- Fear of depleting resources:
Gasoline production from fossil fuels is non-renewable energy. It occurs below the earth’s surface. In the coming future, gasoline may become scarce.
The challenges in adopting EV cars in India
Cost of EVs and batteries
When considering purchasing an electric vehicle, the price is the factor that worries most middle-class people. The national and state governments do offer a lot of incentives, though.
Lack of infrastructure
The most pressing concern for those considering electric vehicles is poor infrastructure. Poor infrastructure includes a lack of charging stations and an improper charging setup in the home. There is no infrastructure for charging if you live in an apartment. At least two-wheeler batteries get easily charged at home.
Electric Car batteries, on the other hand, are a different story. You ought to install a home charging station where you park your electric vehicle if you want to charge one there. You can use a Type 1 AC charger to charge from an AC outlet, but the 3 kWh charge rate is too slow. Usually, the faster Type 2 or wall box charger gets installed by the auto manufacturer at home.
Unscheduled Power cuts
If your electricity board suddenly decided to perform some unplanned maintenance that would last, say, 4 hours. You are stuck.
EV cars are suitable for short commutes. But most Indian cities are widespread. Even after spending 15 to 20 lacs, you cannot use it for intra-city travel due to some EVs limited range. Furthermore, the infrastructure for charging is still not uniform. Some cities like Chennai have ten charging stations. Hyderabad has around 150 charging stations presently. There is no parity. Thus, intercity travel is risky.
Infrastructure for electricity
Many Indian cities suffer from power outages, especially during summer. If more people start to use EVs in large numbers, we must also increase the electricity infrastructure.
Benefits of adopting an EV in India:
Low operating costs
If you compare them to a petrol or diesel vehicle, an EV has significantly lower operating costs. Instead of using fossil fuels like gasoline or diesel to charge their batteries, EV uses electricity. Due to their greater efficiency and the lower cost of electricity, an electric vehicle is more affordable than purchasing gasoline or diesel for your travel needs. If charging gets done with the aid of renewable energy sources installed at home, such as solar panels, the electricity cost can get further reduced.
As production volumes rise and EV battery technologies develop further, prices for electric vehicles are likely to catch up to those of conventional cars. Additionally, fuel cost savings besides state and utility incentives can offset initial costs.
Minimal Maintenance Costs
Because they have fewer moving parts than internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE), electric cars require very little maintenance. Compared to conventional petrol or diesel vehicles, electric cars require less maintenance.
Actions set to support
The central ministry set a target to replace all new sales of ICE (Petrol & Diesel) vehicles with plug-in electric vehicles (EV) by 2030 to address these issues. The government also wants to make India a hub for the production of EVs on a global scale. 2019 saw the adoption of the FAME II scheme for faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles.
The FAME II policy, the broader policy for India, was created keeping in mind demand-side incentives. Of the funding available, 86% will go toward consumer incentives for EV purchases. 10% will go toward funding charge stations.
Even before the FAME II program, under the FAME I program, the government had provided incentives totaling INR 343 crore to promote the adoption of 2,78,000 EVs. EVs are increasingly at the center of India’s industrial, energy, and environmental policies.
Financial incentives and tax advantages
Registration and road tax for electric vehicles are less expensive than for gasoline or diesel vehicles. Depending on the state you are in, the government offers a variety of incentives and policies.
The higher upfront cost of an electric vehicle may give you the impression that Electric Cars are more expensive to buy in India than a car with an internal combustion engine.
Electric vehicles still have a lower lifetime cost.
There are a variety of financial benefits to help you afford EVs. They are:
- Buyer incentives: The buyer gets a direct discount on the price of the EV.
- Coupons: Financial incentives with a later reimbursement of the cost
- Interest reduced: A reduction in the interest rate when a loan gets approved.
- No Road tax: There is no road tax payable at purchase.
- No registration fee: There is no one-time fee for new vehicle registration.
- Income tax relief: Offers a deduction from the amount of taxes that a person must pay to the government.
- Scrapping old vehicle incentives: Provided upon de-registering old petrol and diesel vehicles.
- Others: You can also take advantage of incentives like interest-free loans and top-up subsidies.
The main initiative for promoting electric mobility in India is FAME, or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles.
FAME-II is currently in its second implementation phase and has been budgeted for 10,000 Cr over a three-year period, effective April 1, 2019.
State Government incentives
You can receive incentives from your state for switching to electric vehicles. About 20 Indian states have already developed draft or final electric vehicle policies.
The main goal is to promote India’s switch from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. The aim of each state’s regulations will differ. But some of the common goals shared by these policies are to address air quality problems, aid in mitigating climate change, lessen dependency on oil imports, and encourage the growth of the EV industry. Haryana recently made the same decision.
Employment creation and public transportation got priority in almost all state policies.
Prices will drop
In two years, electric vehicles (EVs) will cost the same as gasoline-powered vehicles in the country, said Nitin Gadkari, the minister of roads and highways, in the Lok Sabha in March this year. The minister advised MPs to purchase electric cars once a charging station gets installed on Parliament property.
The minister stated that the government’s policies favor domestic production, cost-effectiveness, pollution-free imports, and import substitution.
We must also consider that the cost of gasoline and diesel has increased. Gadkari also said green hydrogen, electricity, ethanol, methanol, biodiesel, bio-LNG, and bio-CNG have not yet been considered alternative fuels. The government plans to work on them.
Charge at your convenience
Imagine you are running late to work and arrive at a busy gas station during peak hours. The simple use of an electric vehicle can solve these issues. All you have to do is plug your car into the charger at home for four to five hours before you leave. It is very convenient to schedule your trips in advance if you can find a charger near where you park at home. The government is currently working on charging infrastructures across India.
Charging infrastructure to lower costs
Over a million EVs and 1,742 public charging stations are present in India.
10,76,420 EVs and 1,742 Public Charging Stations (PCS) are operational as of March 25 of this year, according to Vahan 4 data from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
The Office of Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, Niti-Aayog, and the Department of Science and Technology are collaborating to develop an innovative, low-cost electric vehicle charging point. It will be affordable and provide rapid scaling up of charging infrastructure throughout India.
The government announced that work is getting done to install charging stations for electric vehicles at 22,000 of the 70,000 gas stations across the country.
Inevitably, EVs will replace IC vehicles, and eventually, they must get completely phased out. With that said, it is crucial to choose EVs wisely. Take advantage of this expanding goldmine industry as a wise user and investor.
All the facts discussed here have undergone extensive research, evaluation, and study. We’d appreciate you sharing this informative guide. If you have any additional points to add, do let us know in the comments.