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Old 30th May 2021, 21:16   #16
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

A lot has to do with use cases and compromises one in willing to take. Not everyone is a highway runner, or does serious miles on commute.

There is learning curve, there are quirks that are specific to EV like this Ctrl-Alt-Del quirk in Ather (An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450). It is definitely time give EV scooters a serious look when your usage isn't adventurous, now that petrol is touching and passing 3 digits in a lot of places. The initial investment for an Ather 450 series isn't that steep compared to an ICE scooter either.

EV car in present day will largely be use case specific. For one the initial investment is steep, there is only 2 real options that is the Nexon EV and MG ZS EV. Kona EV production is stopped according to this (Hyundai Kona : Official Review). So unless there is a serious commute (like 100 km/day) to justify the 13-15 lakhs spent additionally on the Nexon EV, it makes no sense.

It can be used for day trips which need some planning on chargers enroute. Maybe if you have your native in 1-2 charger hops, it makes sense to do native visits. But that is about it. You WILL need to have an ICE car as a backup or primary driver to address every other use case, and this is what early adopter today do. If you have read EV travelogues, you would have noticed they are driven at 70 to optimise for range. It is not a big deal since there are enough reasons against highway travel with EV.

For EV car to go any bit mainstream, the charging infrastructure on highways has lot of catching up to do. This is apart from the car choices available by range.
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Old 1st June 2021, 00:47   #17
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

I would happily consider an EV as our secondary family car, but there are not enough options in our market with just 3 decent models.
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Old 1st June 2021, 09:22   #18
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

The answer depends on a lot of factors very individual in nature.

For me,

The answer is YES.
  • 85% of my commute distance is under 150 km
  • 10% of commute falls in 150 - 350 km range
  • 5% of commute falls in 350 - 500km range

I have two cars at the moment and I am happy to trade in a petrol car if there is an EV under 10L tomorrow.

I also have rooftop solar producing double the amount of electricity that I need at home so effectively it would be a free commute (sun to wheel) if there is a decent/reliable EV with a 150km real-world range at a 10L OTR price.
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Old 1st June 2021, 09:53   #19
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Seems like it's not the time to buy any vehicle:
  • Electric cars are not 100% there, and today's models would be obsolete as the technology matures in the next few years. Think early Android smartphones.
  • ICE cars are on the planned obsolescence path, for the lack of a better word. If we buy a car today, what would be the resale price 6, or something similar, years later when electric cars would have finally arrived? Think high-end Nokia phones just before the smartphones arrived. And you don't want to burn dinosaur juice and polluting your city when all the hip people are booing at you from their shiny electrics , right?

Last edited by shobhit.shri : 1st June 2021 at 10:03. Reason: clarity
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Old 1st June 2021, 11:29   #20
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Originally Posted by SKC-auto View Post

Sir please do realize that EVs adoption have just started in India, we neither have the infra or proper cars. It's fine you think the current EVs do not suit you, but do not dismiss them, they are here to stay.

Hyd to Vizag is quite easy even with a Kona EV if the infra is ready, the problems are with the infrastructure, not the cars. Nexon EV is a good attempt by Tata, but it lacks faster charging and bigger batteries to be usable for road trips. If you have seen Tesla, Mach E and other EVs, they all have software which very accurately plan your trips, zero planning from the driver. Imagine ICE cars in 1921, do you believe they went places without any prior planning or we go into future can you drive an ICE car without planning in 2050.
I would say, to understand EVs first you need to remove ICE car usage criteria. You can fill ICE cars in 10 mins and it matters for someone who do not take breaks in their long drives, but going to petrol bunk for a fill for 350 days(city use) is annoying.
Exactly the points I was mentioning. The infra is lacking and the technology too. Let's not assume that if there are loads of charging points, EVs will pick up. No. The charging time is too long. The ICE cars have simply too many advantages that are far superior to owning an EV currently. Let's also look at breakdowns in between and loss of full charge. If my car is low on fuel and I do not manage to get to a fuel pump, I can procure fuel in a jerry can and fill my car. What would we do with the same case in an EV? When you don't get a charging port in vicinity, I highly doubt there would be a tow vehicle in sight.

Bottom line, EVs have a long way to go and we cannot rule them out. The technology that is required to take them the long way is a long way away! I don't think even cars like Tesla will be a success in India. The range and charging time are biggest lull factors for all EVs in India currently.
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Old 1st June 2021, 11:59   #21
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

No! Until and unless the EV charging infrastructure/capacity doesn't reach 50% of the current petrol/diesel capacity I won't touch an EV with a barge pole. My life and schedule is too unpredictable to plan around hours of charge time and charge point locations.

It'll be a decade for charging stations to become ubiquitous in India. And even then with dismal power infrastructure and jugaad use of gen-sets to power charging stations, I'll stick with ICE until they pry them out of my hands.
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Old 1st June 2021, 12:16   #22
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Nope not yet! Even know I now have mileage anxiety rather than range anxiety due to fuel prices!

Better that OEM companies start providing CNG kits with warranty till the market and technology is ripe for electric cars. I would happily fit a CNG kit from Maruti Suzuki for my Ignis AMT if they allow me to do so with their warranty (or without affecting the existing warranty).

Honda used to do it for their dealership level fitted CNG kits I think.
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Old 1st June 2021, 14:24   #23
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

No, not yet. I own 2 ICE cars, (1 Petrol & 1 Diesel) and 1 Electric car. I have had the Reva i from 2011, which is hardly used by my better half, in 10 years it has done about 20K kms. It is a convenience buy which doesn't make economic sense, period. I love that car, and use it when ever I can. Reva i will not be sold till the end because simply there is no replacement for it.

My regular use cars also hardly run, both together about 10-12K kms/year. Electric car + low usage = bad investment. I will keep running my ICE cars also to the end as they are already highly depreciated but very well maintained. Also the resale of ICE cars will start to slide down only when the market has at least about 40% electric cars running on road, and that will take a good 5 - 7 years in India.

If anyone who buys new cars and uses it for 7 years, this is the right time to buy ICE car.
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Old 1st June 2021, 14:39   #24
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

While all of us have fairly sensible reasons and rationale to be either an innovator or early adaptor of e-vehicles, yet Large Global Media brands believe that electric cars will take over sooner than what we think.

Indians are usually champions of adoption of newer technologies(as was evident in rapid adoption of cell phones and skipping the landline tech) and my sense is that we will witness that in e-vehicle adoption too. I will certainly consider an e-vehicle when we look to replace my decade old ANHC.
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Old 1st June 2021, 14:52   #25
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

I think India still has a long way to go in this journey. Few critical points have to be addressed in order to make EVs relatively mainstream :

Charging Infra : A quick Google search tells us that there are around 70k fuel stations in the country to serve the 5.9 Mil Kms of road network. That comes out to about 84 km per station. In comparison, we have roughly 1000 EV charging stations. This number has to reach around 50% of the fuel station count (30-35k) and that too equipped with fast charging so that we have on charging station every 150-200 km at least on an average. People like to plan their trip according to places to visit and not charging stations. The range anxiety has to be addressed for it to go mainstream

Attractive Govt incentives - We need a strong incentive policy at the central level to offset the initial high cost. They necessarily need not be direct benefits, we can have subsidized fuel costs, zero toll charges, parking free at selective locations etc. Manufacturing costs will come down only when there's sufficient demand and that demand can be accelerated by better policies

Tech enhancements - Currently the EV manufacturing costs are good enough to make EVs mainstream in developed nations but for India it has to go down even further. Battery tech is key and I hope we will have breakthrough in this area in the coming years

This is strictly talking about 4-wheelers. The 2-wheeler segment will definitely see a much earlier adoption rate, especially in cities where the average trip length is low. Few well-priced products could accelerate that.

Also, I don't understand why we are directly trying to skip directly to EVs without going through the hybrid phase. We should be trying to promote everything that is less polluting than pure fossil fuels and hybrids should be the way to go for the next 3-4 years till we get the infra set up.
Personally I can't see myself buying an EV anytime before 2030.
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Old 1st June 2021, 15:13   #26
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Just adding my 2 cents, I think with changing nature of work due to pandemic there's an elephant in the room staring at many of us, what happens when the pandemic blows over?

Will we stay put on the current track or will we go back to how things were? While a lot of sectors will want to resume office work, IT , which drives a lot of sales for the car market, is sure to have a lot more people continuing WFH. And with WFH, the typical usage of the primary car for an average urban buyer goes down significantly. Most of us use our cars 90% of the times for commutes, and the commute is 99.99% to our workplace. If that's cut down, then it would mean theoretically we would need our cars for just 10% of the time as before. Okay, maybe 90% commute is far too sad for most of us to admit, so let's say it's 70% of the time, even then we'll be needing our cars only for 30% of what we needed before.

And I'm pretty sure the EVs available on the market are definitely more than 30% of their ICE equivalent. I'm talking about range, comfort, ride quality, and all the other usual metrics here. I know my next car is going to be an EV, which will replace my aging 12 year old diesel polo.

Another thing is that if we like it or not, manufacturers have decided EVs are the future. And the future is now. It's just a matter of time when we'll just run out of options as it'll be a lot more profitable for the manufacturer to make and sell EVs as opposed to ICE cars.

And lastly, the biggest reason why IMHO EV adoption is still low and why we have a lot of people sitting on the fence, is that EVs are not yet competing with the Mass market best sellers. The Alto doesn't have an EV competitor, nor does the swift. Currently EVs compete with the costlier side of the spectrum where even ICE cars are beyond the reach for average car buyer. In short, the Indian market at least is simply waiting for Maruti(Or could it be Toyota?) to launch its EV and I'm sure that day will be the true dawn of EVs in India.
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Old 1st June 2021, 17:25   #27
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Let's talk of numbers. Correct me if I erred somewhere in my calculation. All prices are Bangalore based where taxes and electricity tariffs are pretty high.

Nexon EV (XM) = Rs 15,30,000
Nexon 1.5D (XM) = Rs 11,42,000
Difference = Approx Rs 4,00,000

I am considering my private run before lockdown.

Kms per month = 1000
Electricty Tariff = Rs 6/kWh
EV Mileage = 6.6km/KWh which approx - 200 kms per full charge for Nexon
Diesel cost = Rs 90
Diesel Mileage = 18 km/l (taking conservative number)

Calculation based on above numbers
EV cost/km = Rs 0.91
Diesel cost/km = Rs 5.00
EV cost/month = Rs 910
Diesel cost/month = Rs 5000
EV cost/month = Rs 10,920
Diesel cost/year = Rs 60,000

Let's add Rs 10,000 to diesel for servicing. So,
Diesel cost/year = Rs 70,000

EV - Diesel cost/year = Approx Rs 60,000

Buying cost difference = Rs 4,00,000. To recoup that difference, it will take 6+ years.

Let's improve EV range to 10km/KWh (300 kms for Nexon) and redo the calculation.

EV cost/km = Rs 0.6
Diesel cost/km = Rs 5.00
EV cost/month = Rs 600
Diesel cost/month = Rs 5000
EV cost/year = Rs 7200
Diesel cost/year = Rs 60,000 + Rs 10,000 (for service cost)
EV - Diesel cost/year = Approx Rs 63,000

My View
The Rs 4,00,000 buying difference is after heavy taxes on fuel and ICE cars and big subsidies on EV cars. And these subsidies will not go on forever. If you want to consider petrol, Nexon (XM) costs Rs 9,84,000, that's around Rs 5,50,000 less than EV. Unless I made a mistake somewhere, the numbers suggest it makes no sense to buy EV as of today. Apart from numbers, there are other problems (not covered before)

1. Residential charging stations - For people living in individual houses like villas - no issues but for people living in apartments, unless most of the apartments have individual charging stations in parking with separate electricity meter, people are not going to agree few people ripping off electricity at the cost of the apartment maintenance. Apartments might have few parking stations for which the individual has to pay. Will take some time for all this to be sorted out. Other alternative is all office buildings have it for their employees.

2. Commercial charging stations - They are going to charge a premium for electricity as they have to make a profit, the government can subsidise for some time but not forever. In spite of so many fuel stations, you still see big queues sometimes even though it hardly takes 5-10 mins to refuel each car. So just imagine how many commercial charging stations are required so that people do not have to wait for an hour just to get the car plugged in. Even after Fastag, you still see a line in tolls. All this makes sense in sparsely populated countries like Europe and USA but not densely populated regions.

3. Battery Durability - Placing the battery underneath has it's challenges in a country like India where water logging and floods are common, plus the unscientific roads where low ground clearance cars have to take a beating. We have already heard of Nexon EV batteries conking off in heavy rains. There has to be a better solution.

4. Charging Availability: We are talking of a country where still many villages are not electrified and many which claims to have been electrified only has around 10% home with atleast a single bulb. To expect charging stations to flood all across the country is a very big expectation. Even if big cities have adequate number of stations, the current economics suggest you should buy ICE.

So whether it's for short trips and long trips, EVs can not compete with ICE as of today. The EV range is currently improving but cost is a big challenge. Unless battery costs come down drastically, EVs have a long way to go. And as EV sales increase, governments will start remove subsidies which might ultimately not make much difference to buying cost.

Note: Please check my calculations. If they are way off, I request Mods to delete the post.
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Old 1st June 2021, 17:27   #28
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

I would love to buy an EV, but I have decided to wait until the below points are clear.

1. Price needs to be competitive. For mainstream acceptance an EV price should be = purchasing an IC car of the same segment. Maybe slightly higher would not be bad as well , but certainly not with the prices right now.

2. Personally a driving range of 250 kms seems sufficient as very rarely does one travel more than that in a single day and the driving range will only get better in the very near future. Offices, railway/metro stations, malls etc with charging infrastructure will certainly boost EV sales for some who do not have an option to charge at home.

3. RELIABILITY!! Personally for me reliability is of prime importance. I have heard of many Tata Nexon's having niggling issues, Hyundai Kona having electrical issues etc. So this newer tech needs to give confidence to buyer's that EV cars will serve them as well as their IC cars.

Last edited by SN88 : 1st June 2021 at 17:30.
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Old 1st June 2021, 18:09   #29
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Well we dont know whats in store for the future and how scenarios change.

EVs are more of a fad right now, but there is a good possibility to change once Maruti enters the band wagon with Wagon R EV and how well it does, pricing will definitely will be cheapest of the lot and will give fossil fuel vehicles stiff competition.
If successful then we will see Hyundai, Ford, VW, (tatas are already there) and many others launching their own improvised products which can bring the market at par with traditional fuel vehicles, and may overtake them in future.

Right now it so happened that in a EV station in Gurugram there was no power and they were using Generator to power the outlets. No doubt atleast the Car remains clean and green energy efficient.
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Old 1st June 2021, 18:57   #30
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Default Re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

This is THE chance to buy our last ICE car, our last hurrah. One can always (and will inevitably) buy an EV later with the improved range and infrastructure to boot

Last edited by GeeTee TSI : 1st June 2021 at 19:08.
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