MUMBAI : Adriving range of 300km on a single charge, and a price tag of 10 lakh, among other factors, could tempt Indians to go for electric vehicles, a consumer survey said.

At this sweet spot of price and range, six out of 10 respondents were willing to switch to EVs if manufacturers were ready to buy back the vehicles at about 40% of the purchase price after four years of usage, the survey by advisory firm Deloitte said.

Over 3,000 people across age groups in tier-1 to tier 3 cities were surveyed in India for the ‘2020 Global Automotive Consumer Study".

As per the survey, 53% do not want to pay more than 1 lakh as premium for EVs over diesel or petrol variants. However, about 21% were willing to pay a premium of 20-25%.

“So, for a petrol or diesel compact sports utility vehicle in India that currently costs 8-9 lakh, its electric variant, if priced at a 10-lakh price band, would appear to strike the consumers’ pulse effectively," Rajiv Singh, partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Llp, said over the phone.

Although manufacturers are stepping up to match consumers’ expectations, common ground is yet to be found.

Earlier this month, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd said it will price its electric hatchback e-KUV100—to be unveiled at next month’s Delhi Auto Expo and launched in Q1 FY2021—below 9 lakh. However, it will have a range of only about 150km, as the company plans to target the fleet segment.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors Ltd’s Nexon EV—an electric variant of its popular compact SUV selling at 6.7-11.4 lakh—scheduled to launch later this month, will offer over 300km range, but will cost 15-17 lakh. The Nexon EV’s premium over the current model would be around 30%.

“This depends upon what specific customer segment(s) the original equipment manufacturer (OEMs) is planning to address. It may price its electric car for a more premium category of customers too who are willing to pay more than 1 lakh," said Singh clarifying that the OEMs look at the consumer preferences for benchmarking products but certain factors at play would always differ.

Singh said that consumers surveyed suggested that they would prefer to break-even the additional cost paid for buying an electric car over its diesel variant within three years.

The study also found out that the urban and semi-urban customers are not concerned with an average charging time of up to an hour to either fully-charge or charge the battery up to 80% in that duration to ready the car for a good range.

Another notable finding of the study projects that a larger shift towards EVs could happen if fuel prices breach the 115-per-liter mark.

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