Electric Vehicles have been a part of our discussions about the environment and its conservation for a long time now. It is no longer just scientific mumbo-jumbo that vehicles can be powered by electricity; case in point being the electric rickshaws plying on Indian roads. Electric cars are perhaps the largest disruption in the car industry, which is more than a century old. However, the promise of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is dampened by the pace at which the disruption is materializing.
There are looming questions that remain unanswered: how far are we from owning and using electric cars? What are the fundamentals behind their working? Are we ready? What is on offer? Let’s try and answer these questions one by one.
What is an ‘electric’ car?
The concept of electric cars isn’t hard to understand. Simply put, electric cars use an electric motor powered by electricity from batteries or a fuel cell, unlike conventional vehicles that use gasoline or diesel-powered engine.
The market for Electric cars in India: An Overview
Because electric cars are touted as a solution to the burgeoning environmental crises, they hold a unique significance for a country like India, which is now very visibly marred by the impact of pollution and environmental degradation. India is keen on a sustainable mobility paradigm, and in tandem with that, it has formulated an EV policy and set up the ambitious goal of having 30% electric vehicles by 2030.
Projections on a global level show that the EV unit sales are likely to grow by a CAGR of 36% between now and 2025 and that prices will go down as innovations bring efficiencies in the production process.
India’s EV market is still in a nascent stage, lagging behind Europe and China by a decade, and is expected to pick pace in the 2020s, with projected growth at 24% CAGR.
There are many developments that will lead to this, primary among them being – charging infrastructure becoming easier to build; ability to charge EVs at home and easier charging to facilitate faster adoption. Even so, the Indian EV market is projected to grow by 16x between 2018-35, and the government’s EV targets for 2025 expected to only be fully met by 2035, according to a report. The use of EVs will increase the importance of car insurance. When you buy a policy like the Bajaj Allianz car insurance, it will be important to take a keen note of features like No-claims bonus. Let’s now look at the available model, what is NCB and why is that it is so important?
So, which players and models are on offer in the market?
First of all, it is important to note that some of the most popular players still have their EVs under fleet testing or launch timelines unknown. That said, few players in the market have launched their EVs, albeit at a higher price.
- Mahindra has called itself the pioneer of electric mobility in India and offers Mahindra Reva – e2o priced around Rs 4.99 lakhs, e20+ priced at Rs 7.46 lakhs and EVerito for Rs 9.22 lakhs. Take the latter for example, the sedan boasts of a noiseless driving experience, regenerative braking, telematics and an intelligent energy management system. The desi automaker is now looking forward to launching the eKUV100 EV in the Indian market.
- One much talked about model is the Nissan Leaf. The company has also confirmed the launch of its all-electric hatchback Leaf in the Indian market sometime in 2019. The Nissan Leaf comes with a 40kW battery pack with promises to offer a range of 400 km on a single charge. Plugged into a DC fast charger, the leaf can be charged to 80 per cent in a matter of 40 minutes. When launched, its prices are likely to be around the mark of Rs 30 lakh.
- Hybrid offerings include the BMW i8 which is priced at Rs 2.62 crores. The BMW i8 Coupe and the first-ever BMW i8 roadster are both plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Lexus ES 300h priced at Rs 55.27 lakhs is a fuel-efficient non-plug-in luxury vehicle.
- The more affordable brands include Toyota Prius (priced around Rs 45 lakhs), Toyota Camary (around Rs 35 lakhs) and the Honda Accord Hybrid at Rs 37.35 lakhs. These let you switch between Normal, Eco, Power and EV modes to suit your driving style.
- It is expected that many more electric cars will be launched in the coming couple of years. Hyundai is also set to launch its first all-electric vehicle, the Kona EV which is an SUV-crossover that can be charged up to 80 per cent with the help of 100kW charger in a matter of 54 minutes and is expected to be priced at around Rs 30 lakhs.
When you are pumping money into an electric car, it goes without saying that car insurance becomes all the more important. While right now the coverage for EVs is the same as the traditional cars, you should watch out for specifications unique to electric vehicles: it is suggested that the mechanical, electronic and electric failure of battery and electricity supply unit should be protected. Also keep in mind that since the repair costs are higher in case of EVs, the premium you will pay is also most likely going to be higher. This enhances the importance of insurance features like No Claims Bonus (NCB). What is NCB and how does that help? NCB is a reduction in the premium charged for insurance when no claim has been made during the previous insurance year. With the electric cars, you’re playing at higher stakes, and of course, a higher premium. Therefore, it becomes important that you save wherever you can.
Keep your car safe with Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, which services through a vast network of 4,000+ cashless garages across all major cities. With the Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance, you can transfer up to 50% of your existing No Claim Bonus (NCB). You can get claims for your Bajaj Allianz car insurance settled swiftly and use Motor OTS – an insurance wallet for instant claim approval up to Rs. 20,000. On Finserv MARKETS, you can choose from a range of plans and pick the one that suits your needs.
Finserv MARKETS, from the house of Bajaj Finserv, is an exclusive online supermarket for all your personal and financial needs. We understand that every individual is different and thus when you plan to achieve your life goals or shop for the gadget of your dreams, we believe in helping you Make it Happen in a few simple clicks. Simple and fast loan application processes, seamless, hassle-free claim-settlements, no cost EMIs, 4 hours product delivery and numerous other benefits. Loans, Insurance, Investment and an exclusive EMI store, all under one roof – anytime, anywhere!