"The only constant in life is change!" Change is a part of our lives, and many times, humans collaborate to bring about beneficial change. When it comes to the automobile sector, one of the most significant changes that we have seen in recent years is the introduction of EVs. With increasing prices of petrol and diesel and increasing air pollution, EVs emerge as a lucrative option for consumers. Of late, there has been a steady increase in adoption of EVs across the globe with initial adoption beginning in India as well.
There are multiple benefits of using EVs over ICE vehicles like:
Cost of Running: Running cost for EVs is much lower compared to ICE vehicles and offer a strong economic imperative to consumers to make the switch. While a typical ICE vehicle has a running cost of INR 8-10 per Km, an EV has a running cost of only INR 3-5 per Km.
Cost of Maintenance: The maintenance cost for EVs is less as they have fewer moving parts compared to ICE vehicles. This implies less expenditure on servicing and upkeep. The maintenance costs for EVs is almost half that of ICE vehicles.
Better Performance: EVs also deliver instantaneous torque and can have high initial acceleration as electric motors have a very fast response to throttle input. Today EVs are easily able to deliver the power and speed at par with ICE if not better.
Lesser Energy: EVs are much more energy efficient than ICE vehicles. While an electric motor can convert up to 80% of input energy into vehicle kinetic energy, ICE can only convert about 30%. This means EVs use much less energy than ICE vehicles to go the same distance. Regenerative braking is another unique feature of EVs which help increase their efficiency further. In ICE vehicles the braking results in wastage of kinetic energy that gets released as frictional heat. But in EVs the same energy gets used to charge the batteries further reducing overall energy consumption.
Ease of Driving: EVs are more convenient to drive compared to ICE vehicles. EVs don’t have a clutch and are inherently automatic. They also do not have the issue of stalling like ICE vehicles.
Safety: Due to lower center of gravity, an EV is more stable and hence safer to drive compared to ICE vehicles. There are also less chances for EVs to catch fire/ explode due to the absence of any combustible fuel.
Cleaner Environment: For large cities, the zero vehicular emission is also a driving factor for the adoption of EVs. Evident from the recent air pollution crisis in the capital, the presence of more EVs on the road will definitely help in improving the overall air quality.
Though advantageous in all these aspects, EVs are currently priced considerably higher than ICE vehicles along with resulting increased insurance price which sometimes may make it difficult for some consumers to afford an EV. And lower range and lack of charging infra are also acting as hurdles today for large scale transition towards EVs. To solve these hurdles, government is encouraging the use of EVs by providing subsidies and implementing policies to incentivize the consumer.
In order to promote EVs among individual customers, the GOI has offered incentives like:
- From assessment year 2020-21, under Section 80 EEB a deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loan taken for buying EVs.
- In the budget 2021 proposal, ICE vehicles will be levied a ‘green tax’ after 15 years, whereas electric and hybrid vehicles will be exempt.
- EVs are also be exempt from road tax and registration costs in some states while GST has been reduced from 12% to 5%.
- In Delhi, the ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign offers a subsidy of Rs 10,000 per kWh to the first 1,000 e-cars, with a Rs 1.5 lakh per vehicle cap.
- The momentum for the local manufacturing of EVs has begun, and the government supporting that by FAME-2 subsidies to enable EV manufacturers to price EVs competitively in comparison to ICE.
Owing to the above factors, there has been a surge in the sales of EVs in India in the past few years. Even in global markets, EVs have become a popular choice and a large number of people have started switching from conventional cars towards EV. Hence we believe that future is bright for EVs and they will gradually permeate into all forms of road transportation.