Despite the hype surrounding electric mobility and electric cars being heralded as poster boys of a new automobile revolution, reality is in stark contrast. In its latest report, the apex industry body, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, has stated that electric car sales have plunged by 40 per cent in the current financial year (FY18) when compared to FY17. A total of only 1,200 units were sold in the year, The Hindu Business Line reported.
Sohinder Gill, director, corporate affairs, at the society, said, “Lack of infrastructure and ambiguity over policy still remain major deterrents for growth.”
However, there are some positive signs as well. Though e-car sales fell, the sales of electric two-wheelers have been increasing. While 20,000 units of them were sold in FY16, more than 23,000 units were sold in FY17. The report also stated that as of March 2018, as many as 56,000 electric vehicles are on the roads in the country, with 97 per cent of the share held by electric scooters.
“Most manufacturers have started using lithium-ion batteries, which has increased the performance of e-two wheelers and has helped in gaining consumer confidence. But the absence of adequate finance mechanism, price gap between an e-two-wheeler and petrol variants and awareness among citizens are challenges which need immediate redress,” Gill said.
This increasing acceptance of eclectic scooters bodes well for various mobility startups like Ather Energy, which are in the forefront of technology innovation in this space in India.
Though E-car sales have dipped, it seems to have been an aberration rather than the norm. Recently, the Union Civil Aviation Minister cited the greater use of electric mobility as one of the solutions for India’s fossil fuel crisis.
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