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This is Why Consumers Are Not Adopting Electric Vehicles in India While the government is pushing for EVs, problems around awareness and infrastructure must be tackled head-on

By Debroop Roy

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Panel at EVConIndia: Anil Srivastava, Ayush Lohia, Kavan Mukhtyar, Naveen Munjal, Vinit Bansal and Akash Gupta (L-R)

Even as electric vehicles (EVs) and a supporting ecosystem is gaining pace, a debate around customer adoption of this new technology is still on. In India, while the incumbent government has aggressively set EV mobility goals, the aspect of customers willing to drive this change is still something that needs work.

Lack of Awareness

According to Naveen Munjal, managing director of Hero Electric Vehicles, among the many problems causing lower-than-expected adoption of EV in India is lack of awareness. For a customer to let go vehicles driven by traditional forms of easily accessible power, vehicle manufacturers must address questions and concerns.

Hero Electric is one of India's oldest and biggest EV makers.

Speaking as part of a panel at EVConIndia, a conference meant to discuss the problems faced by the EV industry in India and possible solutions, Munjal stressed on the need to first focus on how electric vehicles can benefit the average customer and then in the longer run, the environment.

Range Anxiety

Other panel speakers Ayush Lohia, chief executive officer, Lohia Auto, and Vinit Bansal, managing director, EV Motors India, believe consumer anxiety about lack of infrastructure is also pulling customers back from making a purchase.

Lohia Auto and EV Motors India are companies capitalizing on the EV opportunities propping up across the country.

The lack of infrastructure has also led many global auto majors to remain on the fence. Volkswagen doesn't have any immediate plans to launch EVs in India, Steffen Knapp, the German car maker's director of passenger cars, was quoted as saying by The Times of India in July. "E-mobility is purely an aspirational and political plan in India. There are no(t) enough charging stations across the nation, which makes it a non-viable plan," Knapp had reportedly said.

Financing

Another concern is the financing available for both manufacturers and consumers when it comes to EVs.

Bansal, whose company builds and operates charging stations for EVs, said there was a need for financial re-engineering for the industry to thrive.

Resale Value

Since the technology is still at a nascent stage, there are concerns about the potential resale value of such vehicles. Even though groundwork has been laid out to bring costs down for the consumer and make an EV that could compete with traditional ones on all fronts, it would take some kind of framework in terms of reselling to attract more customers.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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