Scheduled 10,000km service cost of the same Hyundai Kona EV (or Electric), done earlier, was zero rupees
The Indian automotive industry is at a budding stage when it comes to all-electric powertrains. At the moment, two-wheelers (especially scooters) have the highest choices of ‘direct’ emission-free products. Bangalore-based Ather Energy has clearly set a high benchmark for made-in-India electric two-wheelers.
On the other hand, India’s four-wheeler PV (passenger vehicle) segment has limited choices. The list currently includes Hyundai Motor India’s Kona Electric, MG Motor India’s ZS EV and Tata Motors’ Nexon EV. Mahindra & Mahindra is in the final stages of its eXUV300 or XUV300 Electric project. To the larger share of Indian buyers, electric vehicles still do not carry the desirability of a conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) option.
One of the main reasons for this is high pricing (relatively). Furthermore, at least in the present market scenario, electric four-wheelers seem viable only in urban environments where there is enough supporting infrastructure. Yet it appears that EVs carry some less-discussed benefits over a regular ICE alternative.
Surprising maintenance cost
Arun Bhat S (@arunbhats on Twitter) has shared the one-year service cost of his Hyundai Kona Electric, proving that low maintenance charges could make up for an EV’s high initial cost. Trident Automobiles, a Hyundai dealership in Bangalore, charged him just Rs 1,043 for the electric crossover’s yearly maintenance.
The bill breaks down to ‘tubeless repair seals’, consumables, calliper guide rod grease, sanitisation (Hygiene Care), general checkup and tyre puncture repair. Labour cost was set at Rs 118. If we consider only the mandatory items, one-year service cost for the Hyundai Kona EV hardly crosses Rs 500. This is still higher than the previous scheduled-maintenance cost since Arun paid absolutely zero for 10,000km service.
An electric vehicle has far less moving and wearing parts inside its power plant. Auxiliary systems such as lubrication, cooling, belts and pumps are also minimal. Thanks to regenerative braking (also known as ‘brake re-gen’ or ‘energy recovery’), pads last longer as well. Certain EVs including Tesla models feature a ‘single-pedal’ mode which virtually eliminates the use of a brake pedal under normal city driving conditions. The energy recovery is strong enough to retard the vehicle’s motion.
Hyundai Kona – Specs
The Indian-spec Hyundai Kona, priced from Rs 25.30 lakh ex-showroom, employs a 39.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Peak output stands at 134bhp and 395Nm while boasting of an ARAI-claimed range of 452km (289km on WLTP cycle). International variants now get a 64Wh battery unit capable of returning 449km range as per WLTP stats. The motor makes 201bhp.