The future of electric cars in India

Friday 02 August 2013, 19:08 PM by

The Indian car market has been evolving over the years with the advent of technology and new methods of production. New types of cars and vehicles are being introduced as the time is progressing, while challenging the old ones and giving them a run for their money. In recent times, the prices of fuel have been rising quite steeply, making it difficult for a lot of buyers to sustain the use of a car. It is a known fact that a high percentage of the Indian buyers belong to the lower-to middle class income groups. These customers are always on the look out for alternatives for fuels, which has resulted in the rise for CNG and LPG cars. Industry experts believe that another concept that could catch the fancy of Indian car buyers is that of electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are more environment friendly than normal cars, which has prompted the government to promote their production across the country. Previously, auto makers like Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Nissan and Mahindra & Mahindra have considered launching electric and hybrid vehicles. However, many auto makers feel that the scope of such cars is less due to lack of policy incentives and infrastructural support. Auto analysts feel that this is justified as governments in other countries like China and USA provide subsidies to the buyers of electric cars. Also, electric models are not able to provide a top-class performance and are expensive as well, which makes consumers reluctant to purchase them.

Currently, the only electric car available in the country is Mahindra & Mahindra Reva, which has been purchased by only a few people. The company also has plans of introducing 4 to 5 electric cars in the years to come. However, since the launch of new version of Reva, there has been no official announcement from the Indian automobile manufacturer. Apart from the Reva, Toyota Prius is a hybrid vehicle which has been seen in the Indian car market.

Given all the drawbacks, industry experts still feel that electric cars will gain prominence in the Indian car market in coming years. The prices of fuel have been rising constantly, thereby decreasing the demand for cars. Also, the rise of alternative like CNG and LPG are encouraging signs for producers of the electric and hybrid cars. In the 2013 Union Budget, the Indian government claimed that it will provide funds to support production of hybrid and electric models. This is being done until the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Public Enterprises are implemented.

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