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Old 28th May 2021, 11:56   #1
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Default Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

I was having a casual discussion on the phone about EVs in India with an auto enthusiast friend. We were discussing on:

1. How fast EVs will become the mainstream in India?
2. Will IC engines co-exist with EVs and if yes till how long?
Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?-evvsicewp.jpg
3. What will happen to the existing fuel stations?
4. Will the existing fuel stations offer normal fuels as well as recharging ports (High tension electric lines and fossil fuels are a deadly combination)?

5. Cost of the batteries, in the long term, will the cost of replacing batteries will be more than the fuel cost (Considering a normal car runs 50,000 kms in 5 years)
6. What will be the resale value of EVs, considering a 5- to 7-year-old EV may require a battery change. In that case, battery change will negate the savings made compared to an IC engine car.
7. What is the current cost of batteries inside these cars (Tata Nexon, Hyundai Kona, MG ZS EV et al)?
8. In future will universal batteries come and then what will happen to the existing EVs?
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9. Is it too early to switch to an EV, and why not fuel-efficient hybrids?
10. With a simpler technology, new startups will be venturing into EV manufacturing and sales. How will the established manufacturers react to it?
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11. Will the price of EVs drop drastically in the future?
12. Should I buy an EV over an IC engine car now?
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Thought of sharing the questions here.
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Old 28th May 2021, 14:03   #2
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

I think it is. To start with consider something like an Ather 450x. Here is mine. It is worth experiencing.
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Old 28th May 2021, 14:37   #3
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

I would personally wait for a couple more years before buying a electric car and it would probably be used as a second car, but as @anilntny pointed out one could go out and buy an electric scooter or an electric bike. My uncle has an electric scooter in Kerala and I had it for a couple of days. The scooter could be used only for shorter runs with the speed maxing out at 50km/h.

I would be less sceptical in buying an electric scooter or bike as the investment is much lesser than that required to buy an electric car. The Hyundai Kona for example had a lot of issues with a lot of Konas being affected. I do not want issues like this after spending close to 30 lacks on a car. I also feel that in the next ten years, the EV market is gonna grow a lot and many of the negative points of EVs like taking a lot of time to charge would be addressed. So I would buy an EV as a primary car only after at least 10 years.
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Old 28th May 2021, 15:41   #4
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Electric Scooters are likely to pick up as the range with them is not too much of an issue.

But coming to cars, it is a very attractive option with people with more than one car in the garage. The Nexon/ZS EV are capable vehicles and reasonably priced as well and have been seeing a fair few of them on the road now.

Another reason is the rising fuel price. People travelling a lot in the city will find it much cheaper to run an EV and even offset the higher initial cost like this fellow BHPian
Quote:
Originally Posted by agrawalyash11 View Post
Father has to move around a lot while being on the phone so it has to be the chauffer driving the EV. Drove the EV about 14000 km in 8 months amid the pandemic. Would easily cross 20000 km in a year if situation was normal. If we use an innova in the city for this, the fuel bills would be insane.
Not to mention the bragging rights the green number plate gets you. This definitely turns heads. The German 3 have become fairly common on the roads and the image of being 'environmentally-conscious' is a factor which draws people to the showrooms.

I am myself sitting on the fence and would pick one up in a heartbeat if I did not have heavy highway usage. There are always early adapters, and most of them have a lot of positive things to say after shifting to EVs. We have quite a few of them on Team-BHP itself and BHPians like ADI7YAK Road Trip in Hyundai Kona (Road-Trip in a Hyundai Kona EV!) instil a lot of confidence in people who want to take the plunge.

With respect to charging stations, I think we will see a lot of them on Highway Food Courts/Plazas as they have a huge parking space and people anyway spend some time to refresh there.

Although it is not going to be EV vs IC, we are going to see more and more EVs on the road.

Last edited by hridaygandhi : 28th May 2021 at 15:48.
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Old 28th May 2021, 16:02   #5
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I believe it is not the time yet . Lot of RnD is happening in the area and todays technology especially the one with batteries may become obsolete in couple of years. So better to wait. I believe some new model will come which will change the entire EV landscape like iPhone did in the mobile phone industry.
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Old 28th May 2021, 16:10   #6
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I think it's very prematured stage to go with electric vehicles

Reason being:
1. There is no cost advantage when switching from ICE to EV. I think it takes time for manufacturer to pass on the cost advantages to end user. Most of the cost saved (engine cost, complex transmission cost etc )are being utilised today for R&D. Probably after few years, I am with the hope that the cost advantage will be transferred to end user.

2. Technically, the products today have come to market without a thorough impact analysis. Hence all of them suffer from quality and reliability issues. Only time will mature the products after manufacturers learn from their mistakes and wrong design implications.

3. Batteries that are most important parts of the vehicles have never been able to meet the requirements when compared to ICE cars. Even the most inefficient fuel station will fill the cars with fuel within 10 mins. The battery charging can never be compared with fuel filling process. Not sure when we will be able to crack this issue. But with out cracking this issue, I don't think I will personally go with EV

4. The distance covered by the fully charged battery is equally important for me and I compare it with ICE before switching over from ICE to EV. In my ICE, I can easily cover 600 kms and by spending another 10 mins in fuel station, I can cover another 600kms. But, the practical range in an EV today is much lower compared to ICE. So, this will once again hinder me to switch from ICE to EV.

And I think time is the only factor that MAY improve all the above limitations in EV. So, the most important point. If I take risk and invest hefty amount on EV, what is the advantage that I get in return? In my view, I am going to get NOTHING in return even if I forego all drawbacks and invest on EV. Hence, I would simply wait till what ever time required to resolve above Limitations. Post I am personally satisfied with the level of improvement, I will simply enjoy the ICE Cars.

Last edited by gkveda : 28th May 2021 at 16:16.
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Old 28th May 2021, 16:30   #7
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I would say a NO. EVs have just just started, they are infants in the market currently. There is a long long way for them to move to mass market and be scalable. ICE is here to stay, even after 15 years from now. EVs do not have the range, charging power and the infrastructure to penetrate so easily in a market like India. And it is not about a strategy, they are simply not viable.

Take for example a simple drive from Hyd to Vizag. The range, breaks, charging time, trouble with charging and the list goes on had to be planned meticulously - these are problems an average Indian cannot work through. I myself find it amusing to check for charging stations before I set on a trip. I can't eat when my car is down on charge, I can't wait in line for a charge which is going to take me 45 minutes to be sure of the next hundred kilometers or so. I can't keep switching off my AC to see if my range increases, I can't do single pedal driving just because it will improve my range. All too many distractions for a simple drive. EVs may be good for the environment or at least we think it may be. What about the batteries that are being used? How are they going to be dumped? No one has proper answers yet. A small mobile battery has loads of instructions on how it needs to be disposed, even a simple pencil battery that is used for a remote has instructions on how to it has to be disposed. I am not sure how car battery manufacturers are going to overcome that challenge without disrupting the nature.

Biggest challenge - what about goods movement between one place to another? Can an EV replace a truck? a tipper? an oil tanker or a poultry van? The answer is a simple No. I am sure my next car would also be ICE. Unless range of EVs increases exceptionally, charging time comes down by 90%, the real cost of vehicles lower than ICE cars, I don't see a great future for EVs in India.
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Old 28th May 2021, 18:22   #8
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

2wheeler EV- Most Certainly
4wheeler EV- Not for another decade. We just do not have the supporting infra.
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Old 28th May 2021, 18:35   #9
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Old 28th May 2021, 20:51   #10
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
4. The distance covered by the fully charged battery is equally important for me and I compare it with ICE before switching over from ICE to EV. In my ICE, I can easily cover 600 kms and by spending another 10 mins in fuel station, I can cover another 600kms. But, the practical range in an EV today is much lower compared to ICE. So, this will once again hinder me to switch from ICE to EV.
Yes, your ICE car can do that, but have you ever driven 1200kms with 10mins break? My highest road trips before pandemic on my ICE car are 500 and 600km, both times I took 3 breaks of minimum 40 mins for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I have planned for 2 800km trips(cancelled because of the pandemic) for 2020 and 2021, which may again require 3 stops.
I did 1100km trip where we had 2 stops of 30 mins each for petrol and having packed food, I drove for 20 hours, this trip would be hard unless you have a 450km range EV.

I believe 95% of the population do not drive more than 300km without a break of atleast 40mins. I am just curious to know how you plan your road trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raghu M View Post
Take for example a simple drive from Hyd to Vizag. The range, breaks, charging time, trouble with charging and the list goes on had to be planned meticulously - these are problems an average Indian cannot work through. I myself find it amusing to check for charging stations before I set on a trip. I can't eat when my car is down on charge, I can't wait in line for a charge which is going to take me 45 minutes to be sure of the next hundred kilometers or so. I can't keep switching off my AC to see if my range increases, I can't do single pedal driving just because it will improve my range. All too many distractions for a simple drive. EVs may be good for the environment or at least we think it may be. What about the batteries that are being used? How are they going to be dumped? No one has proper answers yet. A small mobile battery has loads of instructions on how it needs to be disposed, even a simple pencil battery that is used for a remote has instructions on how to it has to be disposed. I am not sure how car battery manufacturers are going to overcome that challenge without disrupting the nature.
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.

Quote:
Biggest challenge - what about goods movement between one place to another? Can an EV replace a truck? a tipper? an oil tanker or a poultry van? The answer is a simple No. I am sure my next car would also be ICE. Unless range of EVs increases exceptionally, charging time comes down by 90%, the real cost of vehicles lower than ICE cars, I don't see a great future for EVs in India.
The answer is simple Yes, they all turn to EVs before personal vehicles. PV consumers think about many things, they do not calculate TCO, CV costumers do not care about ICE sounds, V6s, front grills, beautiful side profiles, they start their plan on excels and buy a vehicle which gives the best TCO. This is the major reason amazon, Big Basket, UPS and major taxis are converting to EVs.

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.

Last edited by SKC-auto : 28th May 2021 at 20:56.
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Old 29th May 2021, 11:17   #11
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

It’s not the right time for an EV in my opinion. Couple of reasons below:

1. Lots of R&D is going on for solid state battery. If successful we will have fast charging and can travel long distance.

2. Infrastructure is yet to be developed for charging battery in public places.

Last edited by GTO : 1st June 2021 at 11:26. Reason: typo
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Old 29th May 2021, 12:39   #12
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

I think around 2024 might be the right time to think about EVs.

For now, there are two hindrances.
1. Rolling out of chargers in cities and highways is a little slow, but it's happening from the news am reading around.
2. All these chargers seem to be less than 50kW and the affordable EVs in India have a range of around 200KMs.

But I believe this would improve, the cost of fuel and maintenance is increasing, two when the world is adapting to EVs, India too will switch.

Also seeing some news like Mahindra having EVs is in its road map and Toyota EVs being tested in India gives an approximate time frame.

Check out https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/elect...indra-evs.html I just posted it with a couple of articles I came across today.

Toyota EV being tested https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/elect...-could-ev.html (Maruti Suzuki Wagon-R spotted as a Toyota | Could be an EV)

For now those who need second car and for city use can try to adopt an EV, others like me who can afford only one car might need to wait for another few years.
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Old 30th May 2021, 13:53   #13
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Knight View Post
I was having a casual discussion on the phone about EVs in India with an auto enthusiast friend. We were discussing on:
...

The Kona and the Nexon EV have a 8 years warranty on the batteries, so that should take care of your points 6&7

Good questions, as I'm tempted to switch, my travel requirements and the lack of ease of recharging the vehicle similar to refuelling the car is a BIG stop!! For me at this point in time.

While I do love the instant torque and pickup of the EVs, I deeply soulfully miss the engine sounds [that a replaced by the EV Motor WHINE] and I hate it, but that's me.

But the days of quick charge and long range [1000 kms plus] on a single charge aint far, thanks to technology

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Old 30th May 2021, 14:46   #14
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I wrote it on another thread, unless ICE products become pricier through taxes and fuel prices such that the initial price gap reduces, customers may not be lured easily towards EVs.

If I were a decision maker who needs to force EV adoption, I would
  • Increase initial cost of ICE vehicles, substantially, vehicle manufacturers may voice protest and try to influence through their lobbies
  • Substantially incentivize EV initial cost and make EV running pricier (yet way cheaper than running ICE vehicles) to recover the initial incentive over 5-7 years of vehicle usage, like taxing EV charging electricity or EV battery cost, etc

The fuel prices in India (for ICE) are a huge income for Government and is already almost 100% taxed over direct international prices, not sure to what additional extent it can be taxed to lure ICE customers towards EVs.
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Old 30th May 2021, 19:46   #15
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Default re: Is it time to buy an Electric Vehicle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Knight View Post
1. How fast EVs will become the mainstream in India?
It can go two ways :
1. Consumer driven shift
2. Legislation driven shift

Under consumers, it would be a slow change. It’s not unknown that batteries will advance, making them cheaper, faster to charge and granting more range.

But this will take time. A big break could be brewing in China, as they have lots of cheap EVs ($5,000-20,000) and while I’m not sure about the quality and safety, they sure do have good specs.

Consumer driven change will also take time because there’d be very few early adopters to make companies enter charging infrastructure market — recently lots of companies have started setting up chargers in India, almost 2y to Kona’s launch when we had barely any.

Legislative driven would be more like “make ICE car harder to buy and run” like the Chinese who applied high taxes on ICE cars and even made lottery to get your car registered in Beijing. However this “legislation” also made Charging infra more common and provide incentive for doing so.

Such were laws that even Toyota had to make an EV for China to continue operating there. Another facet of this legislation driven change is being seen in countries like Norway who have planned to ban ICE sales by 2030.

This could develop EV ecosystem faster but it would make less sense from economic perspective of companies and public, at least until price parity is achieved between EVs and ICE.

By guess would be 2035 for EVs going mainstream in India. (25% or more sales of LMV being EVs)

Quote:
2. Will IC engines co-exist with EVs and if yes till how long?
Yes, for a long time. Norway has plans to ban ICE car sales in 2030. That doesn’t mean an ICE/hybrid bought in 2029 can be stripped off from the owner under the ban. Only new cars won’t be sold any longer — existing cars will be used — as long as you can maintain it (fuel, parts, servicing).

Especially cars which could be granted “vintage”/“limited” status like exotics, and don’t make up a large part of ICE cars, could be exempt. So in some form, fuel “cars” will coexist with EVs.

I say cars, because trucks and heavy vehicles like construction equipment (our beloved JCB) or emergency vehicles have no electrification push.

Quote:
3. What will happen to the existing fuel stations?
In short term, nothing. Even if 100% new sales of LMV segment become electric miraculously, the old vehicles still exist. They still need the fuel. Even if India banned ICE car sales like norway in 2030 (hypo.scene), a lot of cars will remain functional and need fuel.

In long term, many will introduce EV charging and offer some utility like small general store, some will remain the same — selling fuel as usual.

Why? Well, the push for EVs right now is limited to LMV segments and some electric buses (acquired by state government). The buses would charge at depots.

However, semi trucks and other big trucks, emergency vehicles (fire/ambulance) have no EV push right now. A lot of pumps will be still around, but will earn much lesser. A lot of existing cars will also be around.

Quote:
4. Will the existing fuel stations offer normal fuels as well as recharging ports (High tension electric lines and fossil fuels are a deadly combination)?
A lot of HPCL Petrol pumps have already started EV chargers in their premises.

From the images I see on internet, they’re isolated in one corner of the premises similar to the Tyre filling booths. There must’ve been surveys and verifications regarding this beforehand by engineers and charger OEMs.

Quote:
5. Cost of the batteries, in the long term, will the cost of replacing batteries will be more than the fuel cost (Considering a normal car runs 50,000 kms in 5 years)
It will depend on vehicle — how much range for what battery size. And how much the ICE reference car consumed over that period.

For example the Model 3 in USA has the highest efficiency rating but the Etron Quattro had much lesser. An avg figure for battery prices today is $150/kWh.

One thing about this though, is battery prices are reducing with time. The aim is to get to $100.

So say, you buy an EV today but are talking about long term battery costs, so in 5y the costs would’ve decreased. In 2011, costs were >$1000/kWh. Today it’s $150ish.

Quote:
6. What will be the resale value of EVs, considering a 5- to 7-year-old EV may require a battery change. In that case, battery change will negate the savings made compared to an IC engine car.
That could be true, but one thing to note is that batteries don’t die overnight — and unlike phones, the degradation is much slower.

The capacity decreases with time but this is much slower than phone battery degradation because EVs have liquid cooling but phones do not. Further, the battery is compartmentalised unlike monolithic cells in phones. So degradation is much slower.

Teslas clocked 5-10% degradation over 100,000mi driven. So a car that gave 400km when new, now gives 360km. So seeing that, one might deduct 10-15% from value seeing that. Battery replacement might not at all be needed unless there’s a crippling flaw.

Quote:
7. What is the current cost of batteries inside these cars (Tata Nexon, Hyundai Kona, MG ZS EV et al)?
See point 5. A general rule of thumb nowadays is 150$/kWh.

Quote:
8. In future will universal batteries come and then what will happen to the existing EVs?
If by universal battery, you mean standards like the AA/AAA/C/D types we have for pencil cells, then probably no.

At least not how you imagine. Many EVs use standard cells — like Tesla uses 18650 cells in S,X and 21700 cells in 3,Y. However, the number of these cells, and thus the weight, size and energy capacity differs between models.

So the big cuboidal battery pack differs from car to car — so there is, a universal cell, but for the most part the pack differs, and I don’t see a company making standard packs for their own cars unless the models share same platform and battery size.

Standards between manufacturers are even more far fetched unless it’s some sort of joint venture or platform sharing etc (like ID3 using same platform as Cupra El Born or so on)

Quote:
9. Is it too early to switch to an EV, and why not fuel-efficient hybrids?
There aren’t lot of option in the segment. It has the same scene as Indian EV scene in 2013. Sure USA had got Tesla by then but it was costly even for them, and manufacturers had no clear strategy for them yet.

PHEVs have same issue as BEV — you NEED to plug in to achieve benefits out of it. They’re also very costly segment.

Strong hybrids and mild hybrids could be seen in future, as an attempt by OEMs to stretch out the use of the IC engines that they had invested into and which can be made compliant with pollution norms.
The stricter the norms become, the harder it becomes to comply without partial or full electrification.

Micro hybrids are already here in form of ISG equipped Baleno and Ciaz. It’s the lowest classified hybrid category. People might be even buying these without knowing they’re a hybrid.

Quote:
11. Will the price of EVs drop drastically in the future?
Not as drastically as the last decade. Main driver of prices is battery, and that reduced to 1/6th of their original price in 2011. The price decrease will slow down.

Analysts predict prices reaching $100/kWh by 2023. At some point the prices will become stable. Any change would only root from either a new battery chemistry altogether or by size and weight optimisation at the cells and pack level to reduce manufacturing costs and thus selling costs (through that depends on the battery manufacturer/vehicle OEM)

Quote:
12. Should I buy an EV over an IC engine car now?
It really boils down to

1. How much highway driving is your need (and whether that route has chargers at all)

2. Can you charge the car overnight at home

3. How much can you afford to spend

Are you satisfied with the car as a whole out of the limited electric options before us right now (interior, features, safety, etc) ie would you rather buy a 16L small car like Nexon or would you prefer having a creta or seltos for that money.
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