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Will electric bikes outperform electric car sales in India?

India is an emerging market for electric vehicles, all the people nowadays are trying to switch to electric vehicles and getting rid of the petrol or diesel vehicle they are currently owing. The government has also proposed a subsidy on the buy of electric vehicle in the union budget of 2020, so it won’t be very hard to say that India will be among one of the largest markets of the world for electric vehicles. It is evident that the motor manufacturing companies are also focusing on producing electric vehicles, it was expressed in the recent auto expo where most of the companies displayed their electric concept vehicle, the Indian population is also excited about the trend of electric vehicles in India. Among electric vehicles also there is a race between the sales of electric two-wheelers and four-wheelers, the Indian public is more inclined toward the two-wheelers and not the three-wheelers this is being the reason behind the outperformance of sales of electric two-wheelers over four-wheelers, there are many reasons for the people to shift two electric vehicles from the petrol or diesel engine vehicles they currently own. Counting the reason, the first reason becomes the cost-efficiency.

India is not a rich country and hence needs some cost-effective products for every service they avail, and while using the vehicle to commute from one place to another, they were always looking for something cheap and convenient, and electric vehicles came as a gift for them, the cost-effectiveness of the electric vehicles can be understood by knowing the power they utilize, the petrol and diesel engine use around 135-190 watt-hour of power per kilometre of the distance they cover whereas the electric vehicle utilizes around 25-40 watt-hour of power per kilometre, looking this in terms of cost the average petrol price varies between 70-80 rupees per litre. 1000-watt hour is one-kilowatt hour which is one commercial unit of energy, so comparing the cost, the petrol engine takes around 150-170 rupees per 100km distance covered but it comes down to around 10-13 rupees per 100km which is much cheaper. The cost-effectiveness of the two-wheelers, as compared to the four-wheelers, is also quite high, so two-wheelers scooters and bikes are preferred over four-wheelers.

Going further in counting the next reason to shift to electric vehicles is the electric vehicle are much cheaper than the petrol and diesel engine driven vehicles, while as per comparisons made by international agencies owning an electric vehicle ranges between just rupees 2-8 per km driven in its entire lifetime compared to the high cost of owning a fuel-driven engine vehicle. Among the electric vehicle segment, two-wheelers are the cheapest and this reason is driving the sales of two-wheelers far ahead of the four-wheelers in the Indian subcontinent. As per data the electric vehicle sales in India is 156,000 in the previous financial year and among this number 152,000 was the sale of two-wheelers only and 3400 of electric cars and around 600 was the number of sales of electric buses, apart from public transport. The sales for this year were 26,000 more than the 130,000 in the previous year and in the same trend the sales of two-wheelers have also risen this year.

The Indian population also favour two-wheelers over four-wheelers as the Indian roads sees much traffic and two-wheelers can be driven smoothly and swiftly from the traffic also, moreover according to the need also Indians favour riding two-wheelers as mostly they ride alone or just with a pillion rider which need can be fulfilled by just owning a two-wheeler.

There are many limitations also that are limiting the outbreak of sales of electric vehicle in the country the first one being the limitations of availability of charging slot for the vehicle, the refuelling of an electric vehicle is quite a time consuming so if anyone finds a place to charge the battery he needs to wait for at least 2 hours to charge the battery and proceed further, there are not many charging points available in the country yet, the government is planning to install charging points at different spots but it is also a matter of challenge to identify the spots to stall these points, and the infrastructural development will take time to complete and hence limiting the sales of electric vehicles in the country.

The other reason behind the limited sale is the li-ion batteries installed in the vehicles, one li-ion battery costs around 10,000 rupees per kilowatt-hour and so a battery in the electric vehicle may cost around 40,000-50,000 when needed to be exchanged. So, this is also limiting the way of electric vehicles in the country.

The way of electric vehicle in India is not smooth and has many breakers in it but overcoming all the obstacles slowly India is moving toward becoming a global market for electric vehicle. And clearly as per the data and the facts available about the country two wheelers sale is far higher than the four-wheelers is going to remain the same in the near future.


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