India’s EV market may be at an infant stage but is developing at a strong pace
The Indian automotive industry is currently going through some of the worst times in recent history. The market was not doing that well in the year before either; since manufacturers were busy updating their products to BS6 specifications. However, the country’s budding EV market witnessed a growth of 20% in FY2020 compared to FY2019. In other words, about 1.56 lakh electric vehicles were sold in India (across different categories) last year. EV sales in FY2019 stood at roughly 1.30 lakh units.
Out of this figure, a good majority of sales were contributed by two-wheelers. To provide a rough breakup, 1.26 lakh two-wheelers (mostly e-scooters), 3,600 cars and 400 buses were sold in the period. Electric three-wheelers or rickshaws are also a major contributor in India’s EV sales, but the number has not been taken into account as the segment is a bit unorganised. Still, electric three-wheeler sales in FY2020 is estimated to be around 90,000 units.
Even though major names in the field of electric mobility are working towards good alternatives to regular ICE examples, data shows that low-speed electric scooters (top speed cut at around 25km/h) that do not require a rider’s licence are the top sellers. In fact, they occupied almost 90% of the total EV sales in FY2020.
EV Sales FY 2020
|Electric Vehicle||FY 2020||FY 2019||FY 2018|
At present, there are two decent electric scooters that could be a worthy alternative to a petrol example: TVS iQube and Bajaj Chetak. Both e-scooters were launched in January 2020 and the former is arguably the better package. So far, sales have collectively hit 109 units from the limited cities in which they are available.
In the four-wheeler segment, India has got only a few compelling EVs to choose from. This includes Tata Motors’ Nexon EV, Hyundai Motor’s Kona and MG Motor’s ZS EV. Mahindra will soon join the party with its eXUV300 — a direct rival to the Tata Nexon EV. In FY2020, four-wheeler EV sales dropped slightly from about 3,400 units in FY2019.
The Hyundai Kona was the first proper premium EV to launch in India. In global markets, the electric crossover has received a powertrain upgrade that boosted its performance and range figures. Meanwhile, Hyundai India is reportedly working on a subcompact electric crossover to take on the Tata Nexon EV and Mahindra eXUV300.
The Indian EV market, as a whole, will take a considerable amount of time to attain a position on par with the ICE segment. However, with major OEMs investing more in electric mobility alongside exclusive tax benefits from the Indian government, we might be able to see some interesting emission-free products at reasonable price tags across different segments.