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Are We Ready For Electric Cars? Here Are The Pros And Cons And Comparison With Other Fuel Vehicles

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New customers are pondering over a variety of options as year-end discounts from auto companies and dealers begin to stream in. This year, increased fuel prices, as well as high pollution levels in metro areas, have added further complications to the decision-making process. The fuel price is rocket high these days. Should I invest in electric cars? Interested purchasers have a slew of questions: Is it true that electric automobiles are less expensive in the long run? How and where do you charge your car? Is the infrastructure for charging in place? Read more to get answers to these questions.

An electric car uses energy stored in batteries to run largely or completely on electricity. Unlike petrol and diesel cars that use an internal combustion engine (ICE). Despite the fact that India’s electric vehicle (EV) market is still in its infancy, the government’s efforts to expand infrastructure and provide incentives are expected to boost the share of EVs to 12% of passenger cars by 2025-26, according to a report by JMK Research & Analytics. In reality, new electric passenger car registrations increased by 109 percent year over year (y-o-y) in 2020, with sales increasing by 361.78 percent. The government has also created FAME, which stands for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles, which is currently under Phase II (2019-2022) and contains a host of financial incentives for both consumers and producers. The government has also developed a website about electric vehicles to raise awareness.

Despite the positive development expectations, the EV segment has a number of hurdles that make it more difficult to compare to alternative fuel vehicles. “Before you buy an EV, you’ll need to think about a lot of things,” says Kartikeya Singhee, Group editorial head at Girnarsoft, which runs the website cardekho.com. “Because you can buy a bigger automobile for the same price as an EV, you’ll have to decide whether you need a bigger car or if it’s more necessary to go green and pay the extra expenditures with advantages over time,” he says. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles to answer these and other issues.

 

Advantages:

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1. Low running cost: The cost of fuel and maintenance is a major consideration when purchasing an electric vehicle. Because EVs utilize energy to charge their batteries, and domestic power tariffs average from Rs 8-10 per unit, the monthly operating costs are a fraction of what they would be if they operated on gasoline or fuel. So, if your daily commute in Delhi is 30 kilometers, you’ll spend Rs 5,375 per month on gasoline, whereas charging an EV with a battery capacity of 30.2 kWh and a range of 312 kilometers will cost you only Rs 697 a month at home, and even less at Rs 392 if you charge at a public charging station.

2. Lower maintenance costs: An electric car is built in such a way that you will spend less money on maintenance and upkeep. “Expect to pay less for maintenance because electric vehicles have fewer moving components and require less fresh fluids and filters. For example, Tata predicts Rs 25,000 in maintenance costs over a five-year period,” Singhee says. In comparison, a petrol or diesel variant will easily cost you Rs 7,000-10,000 each year.

3. Cleaner environment: Electric vehicles emit zero carbon dioxide and reduce air pollution, which is a selling point for many purchasers. While tailpipe emissions are negligible, one must also consider emissions at power plants where electricity is generated, particularly if the plant is coal/fossil fuel-based. In practice, EVs do not emit zero carbon dioxide, but they emit significantly less than gasoline and diesel vehicles.

4. Better performance: EV batteries convert 59-62 percent of energy into vehicle movement, whereas gasoline-powered vehicles convert only 17-21 percent, making EVs more efficient. Furthermore, because there is no exhaust system, EVs are quiet and smooth, making for a pleasant driving experience. They also accelerate quickly, giving them good torque and responsiveness. According to Singhee, “most EVs also offer roomier interiors with level flooring because their powertrains have fewer parts.”

5. Tax advantages: Section 80EEB enables a deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh for interest paid on EV loans beginning in the assessment year 2020-21. The loan must be approved between April 1, 2019, and March 31, 2023. It is only available to individual taxpayers or business owners. Personal automobiles will be subject to a ‘green tax’ after 15 years, according to the Budget 2021 proposal, although electric and hybrid vehicles will be free.

 

Drawbacks:

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1. Higher purchase price: Currently, the high upfront cost of electric cars is a major impediment to purchasing one. Though reduced fuel, operating, and maintenance expenses, as well as tax advantages, might counterbalance this. However, it is still a deciding issue for many. Because a larger petrol car can be purchased for the same price.

2. Lack of infrastructure: While you can charge your electric car at home, it is more cost-effective to do so at a public charging station. Both commercial and public sector companies have developed station networks and are building more. However, establishing a major network will take at least five more years. FAME II has added 350 stations; Tata has installed 1,000 stations and promises to build 10,000 more in the next three years.

3. Longer charging time: While you can fill up your gas/diesel automobile in minutes, charging your car at home will easily take 6-8 hours. Even with quick chargers and larger batteries, an 80 percent charge will take 35-60 minutes.

4. Limited drive range: Because a single charge provides a driving range of 200-400 km, electric cars are only suitable for short excursions within cities, as there are few public charging points.

5. Fewer options: In India, there are now only 4-5 mass-market electric cars and 5-6 luxury electric cars, with another 5-6 expected to be released this year. Though government incentives to producers are anticipated to increase their number, customers currently have a restricted selection.

6. Higher insurance cost: Insurance is more expensive for electric vehicles than for gasoline vehicles. It is because electric vehicles are more expensive due to cutting-edge technology and high-capacity batteries, which raises the IDV. Furthermore, while e-cars have fewer parts, they are more expensive. Particularly the batteries, which are extremely expensive to repair or replace. While Irdai has set third-party insurance premiums at a 15% discount, comprehensive coverage rates are substantially higher and do not offset the reduction.

 

Should You Make A Purchase?

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If the environment is important to you, get an electric vehicle. The initial high cost of purchasing will be compensated in a few years. Buy one if you live in the metro with public charging stations or if you can install one at home. While waiting for 2-3 years will provide you with a larger selection of automobiles and a better charging station.

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Anushka Jain
the authorAnushka Jain