EV cars in India: Reasons to buy and not to buy electric vehicles in 2021

Looking to switch your fuel-guzzling car with an EV in India? Here's why you should and should not buy it right now.

Fuel prices have soared at an alarming rate. If you’re residing in Delhi, petrol costs you Rs 101/litre, and for diesel, you pay close to Rs 90 a litre. Add to that, car prices have shot up over the past few years, thanks to the BS6 upgrade and other unforeseeable costs. All these changes have somewhat compelled people to look for alternatives. And realistically speaking, your best shot out of fossil fuel is electric. The market situation has improved, with more manufacturers warming up to electric vehicles. You have the likes of Tata, Hyundai and MG Motors among others vying for consumer interest. But the million-dollar question that everyone wants to know is, should they buy an electric vehicle in India right now. Well, we’ve decided to make things simpler on that front, giving you the best possible pros and cons of investing in EV in 2021.

Also read: Convert your petrol/ diesel Maruti Suzuki car into an electric car with this kit

5 Reasons to buy an electric vehicle in India in 2021

1. Environment friendly

Electric vehicles or EV as we call them, are a blessing for the environment. The lack of an engine means it does not consume fuel, which in turn means they don’t pollute. The zero-pollution guarantee makes it an appealing proposition for buyers. And that’s not all, because there is no smoke coming out of the exhaust, you don’t have to bother about renewing the Pollution Certificate (PUC) every six months. Running on power has never been so attractive.

2. Low maintenance cost

How often do you head over to the service centre to fix a part or get the vehicle fully serviced? A regular car with an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) has a lot of moving parts that require proper maintenance, which adds up to your overall cost of owning the vehicle. But, when it comes to an EV, you only have an electric motor and battery pack under the hood. In fact, the tyres also come under the purview of maintenance but that is limited to 4 years or 40,000 km whichever comes first. As for the battery pack, most car manufacturers in the country are offering up to 8 years of warranty on them. So, buying an EV means you bring down the monthly repair cost.

3. Noise-free driving experience

In addition to the lack of smoke from an EV, you also avoid creating noise pollution on the roads. You start the ignition, step on the pedal and realise it for the car to move without making any harsh engine noise. That’s the beauty of an EV, and when you sit inside the car, with all the windows up, the eerie silence will probably take some getting used to.

4. Government dishing out subsidies

Governments across the globe are intent on switching to EVs in the next 5 to 10 years. Many countries have set strict deadlines for the target to be achieved. And carmakers insist that a large-scale adoption is unlikely without support from the Government. This is why you have various states in India offering special EV subsidies that help in bringing down the cost of owning an electric vehicle in the country. Be it a two-wheeler EV or a four wheeler, you get cost reduction based on the battery size and its overall market price. People are inclined towards buying EVs but not at the current prices. Offering subsidies help with the initial push in the market.

5. Electricity is cheaper than petrol

Vehicle buyers in India always have one big criterion before buying, “Kitna average deti hai” which means how much mileage does the car/bike give. And when you put that into the context of an EV, the equation becomes overwhelmingly in favour of the electric counterpart. After all, EVs are extremely efficient, giving you the mileage of Rs 1/km in general cases. When you compare that with the cost of petrol (Rs 101 in Delhi) and calculate that based on the average of 15km/litre (regular hatchback), the difference in cost is staggering. Hence, EV is going to be cheaper than an ICE-based car any day.

Also read: Best electric cars you can buy in India right now

4 Reasons not to buy an electric vehicle in India in 2021

1. Infrastructure is lacking 

Electric vehicles are a luxury right now. Not only because of its higher ownership cost, but also the support staff required to keep it running. Infrastructure is a critical part of the EV ecosystem, and sadly that part is severely lacking in India. Not only there is a dearth of charging stations across cities, the residential charging network has yet to mature. Without a broad set of charging points, you are bound to have battery anxiety. And that plays a big part in why people should be wary of buying an EV right now.

2. Recharging the battery takes time

EVs run on a battery pack that we have already talked about. But it’s also crucial to note that a larger battery unit takes a long time to recharge. On average, an electric car needs up to 12 hours to charge using the home charging points. It’s only manageable when you have parking space that can accommodate fast charging solutions. Until then, you have another device in your life asking for a charge. The last thing you want is power going off, and the car is not ready in the morning, and you miss the office.

3. Expensive compared ICE car

EVs are the future, and eventually, they will become affordable. But right now, buying an EV comes at a cost. To give you some numbers, Tata Nexon EV is priced starting from Rs 14 lakh in the country. The regular Nexon SUV is half the cost of its EV variant. In fact, reports have said that if Maruti Suzuki launches the WagonR in EV avatar, it’ll cost above Rs 10 lakh. You can get the hatchback for under Rs 5 lakh in the petrol model. Experts say EVs cost of running over few years makes up for the price difference. But we’re not sure about the future, and the condition of the EV. So, buy an EV only if you can afford one, or use it as a secondary vehicle to test waters.

4. Limited driving range discourages buyers

This drawback is directly related to the lack of charging points. Now, if you had a wide range of charging networks, the low driving range of EVs would never pose a concern. But most EVs in the affordable range right now give you a range of 200 km on average, which is not sufficient for long-range driving. As long as the charging setup in the country evolves, car driving range is always going to be a drawback for EV buyers.

These were some of the pros and cons of buying an electric vehicle in India in 2021. The list is expected to change as we see new developments in the field. Stay tuned to 91mobiles for more updates on electric cars, scooters, and more.