- Battery type and capacity is a key factor any EV buyer should check before deciding on a particular vehicle.
- Brand and model should be given a priority as there are a host of new EV brands but reliability remains an issue.
Electric mobility is one of the four megatrends that are shaping the global mobility sector since the last decade. India being one of the major automobile markets is no different. The country has witnessed a surge in demand and product launches in the EV space in the last half a decade.
Electric vehicles in India are available in multiple segments. The passenger vehicle segment has witnessed lesser penetration of EVs. But the two-wheelers and three-wheelers are have been driving India’s mission zero-emission. There has been a massive surge in electric two and three-wheelers usage in lower-tier cities across the country.
The incessant price hike of motor fuels such as petrol and diesel are further fueling the demand in the electric vehicle market. With petrol costing more than ₹100 per litre, many customers are opting for electric vehicles that offer a way cheaper cost of ownership.
No doubt the electric vehicles’ penetration in India has been growing. But before buying an electric vehicle, the customers should always consider few things. Considering the fact that a vehicle is a big-ticket purchase and it can be a tricky affair, one should always opt for the best option to get the best value for money.
Here are the top five things one should consider before buying an electric vehicle.
Brand and model
Whenever a customer goes to purchase a vehicle, the first thing he or she considers is the brand and a specific model. This strategy applies to electric vehicles in the same manner as ICE vehicles.
There are hundreds of startups mushrooming around us selling electric vehicles, especially in the two-wheeler segment. On the other hand, only a few well-established brands are there in India selling EVs.
Instead of buying a vehicle from a just-launched brand, it is always advisable to consider well-established brands. This ensures better customer safety and peace of mind. Selecting the right model too is also a key factor to get the best value for money. There is no point in buying a fancy high-end EV if someone is just looking for one with regular daily commuting.
Price and incentives
A vehicle is always a big-ticket purchase. Especially the EVs come with even bigger price tags compared to their ICE counterparts. The pricing certainly plays a key role for the buyers to make decisions. Before buying the vehicle the customer should select the right model under his or her price range.
The Government of India is providing incentives and tax benefits to the customers under the FAME-II scheme. The electric vehicles with the specific speed limit, range, battery capacity are eligible to receive the incentives and tax benefits under the FAME-II. The customer should check if his or her desired EV is eligible to get the benefits.3
Battery type and capacity
The most important and expensive component of any electric vehicle is the battery alongside the electric motor. There are multiple types of battery options for electric vehicles – lithium-ion (Li-ion), molten salt (Na-NiCl2), nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH), lithium sulphur (Li-S), lead-acid etc. In India, lithium-ion and lead-acid are the two battery types most used in EVs.
The lead-acid batteries come cheaper compared to lithium-ion batteries. The Evs with lead-acid batteries eventually is cheaper than the electric vehicles powered by li-ion batteries. But there is a significant downside of lead-acid batteries.
The life cycle of a lead-acid battery is much lower than a lithium-ion unit. This means the owner of a lead-acid battery-powered EV has to replace the battery sooner than a li-ion powered EV owner. The lead-acid batteries are also proven to be more harmful to the environment than doing good. Replacing an EV’s battery can burn a hole in the customer’s pocket. Therefore the battery type plays a key role in deciding the EV.
The customer should focus on battery capacity as well. The rule here is simple. The more the battery capacity is, the longer the range of the EV.
Like every conventional car or two-wheeler purchase, the customers should keep the aftersales service factor in mind while buying an EV. The brand of the EV plays a crucial role in this case.
Despite several EV companies mushrooming around us only a few has strong aftersales service network. Before buying the EV, always check about the aftersales service facilities, availability of door step servicing, road side assistance etc.5
Charging specifications and infrastructure
Charging infrastructure remains a major concern for the existing EV owners and the potential buyers as well. The charging infrastructure for EVs in India remains scarce. The charging specifications too is very important for deciding on an EV. The time taken for charging the battery is crucial in any electric vehicle.
There are two types of charging options available for EVs – standard charging and fast charging. A fast charger can be expensive but charges the battery very fast, while standard charging takes lot more time. The battery of the EV has to be compatible to be connected to a fast charging point as well.