Amit is looking to purchase a vehicle. And news about new electric vehicles are giving him excitement. He is considering purchasing one. As far as Amit is concerned, the fact that an EV is less polluting than a conventional vehicle and thus better for the environment is already a significant bonus. However, he is dubious if it is the best pick in terms of price, maintenance, mileage, and other factors. Before making a selection, he consults his friend Ankit, an EV journalist. The following is a transcript of the conversation.
Amit: I’m not sure if driving an electric vehicle is the best option for me. Can you assist me with this?
Ankit: Sure, but first you must answer the following three questions:
1. What is your motivation for purchasing a vehicle? Is it for commuting inside the city, or do you want to take longer vacations?
2. How many kilometers would you drive daily if it were for a regular commute?
3. How long do you intend to keep your vehicle? Will you, for example, be looking to upgrade soon?
Amit: Well with this car I want to travel from my home to my workplace and back. On average, I drive 50-60 kilometers every day. I intend to keep this vehicle for at least another 8-10 years. I might take the car on small weekend trips, but I don’t think I’ll be driving it great distances.
Ankit: In that circumstances, an electric vehicle is a no-brainer. Let me highlight a few of the features and advantages of electric vehicles:
The most common issue among electric car owners is how far they can travel on a single charge. This is because, unlike fuel stations for ordinary cars, we still lack a large network of charging stations for electric vehicles. But it doesn’t mean we don’t have enough charging stations. In metro cities, you should be able to reach a charging station before the battery dies.
Given the traffic conditions in our cities, a single charge could bring you 200-250 kilometers.
Amit: So you’re suggesting I shouldn’t get an electric vehicle?
Ankit: On the contrary! An EV is the greatest option if you typically use it for city commutes. If you commute 50-60 kilometers per day, a single charge will last you three days. Furthermore, you can always recharge when you come home in the evening so that the battery is fully charged when you leave in the morning. Furthermore, you should be alright taking it on short weekend trips — say, from Mumbai to Pune – as long as you refuel the car in Pune.
Amit: Isn’t the lack of charging stations, however, a serious constraint?
Ankit: EV charging stations are, without a doubt, not as everywhere as fuel stations right now. But in a few years, it will undoubtedly alter. In any case, if your primary goal is to commute in the city and then charge the battery when you get home, keep in mind that a 15 ampere AC charge will take roughly nine hours to reach 100%. It will charge from 0 to 80 percent in one hour if you use a fast DC charger. Because a lithium-ion battery must be conserved, the final 20% always takes a long time to recharge.
Amit: Are electric vehicles cost-effective?
Ankit: This is a bit of a challenge. At the time of purchase, electric automobiles are 25-30% more expensive than regular vehicles. When you include in the operational costs, though, the equation changes dramatically. Typically, charging an EV costs between Rs. 1.2 and Rs. 1.4 per kilometer. Conventional petrol or diesel-powered car will set you back between Rs. 8 and Rs. 9 per kilometer. If you work 20 days a month and commute 40 kilometers per day, you will drive 800 kilometers per month and pay Rs 640 on car charge. That works out to Rs 7,200 for a typical automobile. That works up to Rs 6,560 per month or Rs 74,880 per year in savings.
At this rate, the increased acquisition cost would be covered in around three years. Not to mention the subsidies and spare parts costs.
Amit: What exactly do you mean when you say “subsidies”?
Ankit: In order to encourage EV ownership and reduce automobile pollution, several state governments are providing subsidies to consumers. These can cost up to Rs. 1.5 lakh in rare cases. For loan repayments on your EV loan up to Rs. 1.5 lakh, you can enjoy tax benefits under Section 80EEB.
Amit: You mentioned something about the lower cost of spare parts, right?
Ankit: What you need to know about EVs is that they have considerably fewer moving parts than cars with traditional internal combustion engines. There is less wear and tear because there are fewer moving parts. As a result, over an 8-10 year period, the maintenance expenditures for an EV are a fraction of those for a normal IC vehicle.
See, the electric car sector in India is still in its early stages. However, with the government subsidizing and pushing the usage of electric vehicles, demand is expected to increase. Some car manufacturers have begun to release electrified versions of their vehicles. While there are numerous advantages to owning an electric vehicle, there are also some drawbacks.
The advantages of owning an electric vehicle
- An electric automobile emits far less pollution than a vehicle that runs on standard fuels since its emissions are substantially lower.
- Electric vehicles do not require expensive fossil fuels like diesel or petrol to operate. As a result, the recurrent cost of electric vehicles is reduced.
- An electric car is less expensive to operate because it does not require as much maintenance as a petrol or diesel vehicle. This is due to the fact that electric vehicles have fewer components. A combustible engine, on the other hand, has more moving parts and requires more frequent maintenance.
Consider the following points:
- An electric vehicle is more expensive than a petrol or diesel vehicle. This is due to the fact that the majority of the components are now imported. However, with banks’ competitive financing choices, the cost issue can be overcome.
- Because charging stations are still few, make sure your car battery is fully charged, especially if you’re going on a long trip. When the infrastructure improves and more charging stations are installed, this difficulty will be eased.
So now tell me Amit, what do you think about EV?
Amit: Well Ankit, I think I am ready to buy an EV
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