E-car sales plunge 40% in FY18, but e-bikes volume soars 138%

Despite the massive government push towards electric mobility, e-car sales plunged 40 per cent to a low of 1,200 units in FY18 over FY17, while e-two-wheeler sales zoomed 138 per cent to 54,800 unit during the same period, says an industry report.

As of March 2018, there were 56,000 electric vehicles on the roads in the country, of which e-cars were a paltry 1,200 units, while the rest 54,800 units are two-wheelers, according to the data from the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, the apex industry lobby for the e-vehicles industry. In FY16, 20,000 electric two-wheelers were sold in the country, which increased to Rs 23,000 units in FY17, according to the data. In the same year, 2,000 e-cars were sold and remained stagnant in FY17. In FY16 there were only 22,000 electric vehicles on the roads, which rose to 25,000 in FY17 and to 54,800 units in FY18 and rose to 56,000 in FY18, show the data.


According to Sohinder Gill, director corporate affairs at the society, the rising numbers indicate that people are accepting e-vehicles as an economical as well as a cleaner mode of transportation. “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-wheelers and petrol variants, awareness among citizens are challenges which need immediate redressal,” Gill said.

He blamed the dip in sales of e-cars to the “lack of infrastructure, ambiguity over policy, which still remain the major deterrents for growth.” But he sounded confident about the volumes picking up this year saying this year also looks positive especially for the electric two-wheeler segment and we anticipate the sector to perform better than last year. It can be noted that the Centre is pushing electric mobility under Energy Efficiency Services, which had ordered 10,000 e-cars. The first phase of delivery of 500 units has been completed by Tata Motors and Mahindra.

But the government organisations which picked them up are said to be unhappy with their performance due to low durability of the batteries. The EESL is an energy service company set up by the Centre and is the world’s largest such PSU. Fully owned by the government owned, it is a joint venture of state-owned NTPC, Power Finance Corporation, REC and PowerGrid.

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