The electrified vehicle(xEV) is an idea that is reaching fruition across the World.
How will it perform in India?
A lot of discussion and debate is happening around this topic, with varying positions being taken by various pundits.
There is one school of thought which believes that xEV will get established in India. However, xEV will gain currency and get established at the Super Premium/Premium end of the Indian Social pyramid. Cues along this thought are already being seen what with the launch of the Mercedes Benz EQC in early October 2020 and Jaguar I-PACE to follow in 2021. Tesla too, which will be priced at a premium, too is expected to make its entry soon.
The other camp believes that the xEV sector will take off from the bottom of the Social Pyramid. It will be powered by an electric two-wheeler, which will then drive interest towards the xEV in the electric Passenger Vehicle segments.
As per SIAM, there are more than half-million electric two-wheelers on Indian roads, more than 90% of which are low-speed electric scooters (max speed 25 kmph) that need no registration or license.
The reasoning is that the acceptance and success of the electric two-wheelers will generate interest of the buyers towards A and B Segment Passenger Vehicles too. The caution here is on the affordability of the EVs in their segments.
And auto majors including Tata Motors and Maruti-Suzuki (with technology-driven by Toyota) could capitalize on this interest generated.
More xEVs in the fast-growing SUV segments are anticipated. Already, MG E ZS and Hyundai Kona are available for purchase and Tata Nexon EV sold around 900 between July and September 2020.
COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest reason for the xEV market development being forced to take a break, and deferred investments and product launches at the present.
The xEV industry will also need to address the challenge of affordability perception, most urgently.