About 90 per cent of the Indian car owners would opt for an electric car, provided the right infrastructure is made available, along with optimum support system for maintenance of their electric cars, according to Velocity MR, a market research and analysis company.
The research company has done a pan-India study to understand the adaptability of electric cars in India.
Over 50 per cent of the respondents suggested that the government should take initiatives to increase awareness about electric vehicles and provide financial assistance in the form of subsidy and reduced road tax.
The study observed that while there is some awareness on electric cars, a common misconception is the perceived low mileage per charge.
About 70 per cent of the respondents believed that an electric car could provide a maximum mileage of 70km per charge, while the basic models of electric cars available in the Indian market today, and deliver a mileage of over 100 km per charge.
A 2200 sample size for the study covered car owners across the Indian metros, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.
Jasal Shah, managing director & CEO of Velocity MR said: “Like AI and crypto currency, electric vehicles have also taken the world by storm in recent years. Though the current adaptability of this segment is at a bare minimum, the future of electric cars is bright.”
“With talks of international brands like Tesla and Toyota planning their launch in the Indian market, this segment in India is expected to reach new heights.”
He further added: “However, this is possible only provided the government takes necessary steps to provide the required infrastructure and support to auto companies. Electric vehicles with higher efficiency and configuration are also likely to fare well in the Indian market.”
“Automobile players should focus on educating the target audience on this new technology and also at addressing the current misconceptions/preconceived notions around the category. During our survey, we observed that most of the current consumer base could not differentiate between hybrid and electric vehicles. They also came with a perceived belief of lower mileage per charge which is a misconception."
The study points to electric cars still being at a very nascent stage in India with the current ownership being only about 1 per cent. Respondents believe that electric cars are currently not viable for them with lack of basic infrastructure like charging stations, high cost of purchase, maintenance and lack of subsidies being major factors.
About 90 per cent of the intended car buyers in the study have said that they would have bought an electric car instead of their current petrol/diesel cars, provided they had more options, regarding pricing, model, brand.
With the current barriers/ concerns addressed, the future potential of electric cars is exciting. About 90 per cent of the respondents claimed that they would consider the electric car for their next purchase and also recommend it to their family and friends.
From among a third of the respondents interested in electric cars, about 31 per cent said that they would use their electric car as the primary car, while, 69 per cent claimed that they would use it as their secondary/additional car only.
Most of the respondents are also willing to pay a premium of about 17 per cent more than the cost of their conventional engine type cars in the same category/body type.
While 91 per cent of the interested respondents claimed that they would prefer using their electric cars more on weekdays, only 2 per cent claimed that they would use these cars for long distance and out of city travel.
When quizzed on the electric car brands in the market, Mahindra and Tesla were found to be the top brands associated with electric cars.
Honda turned out to be the most preferred brand to buy an electric car from, if it were to launch one in India, with about 79 per cent opting for the brand. This was closely followed by Maruti, with 75 per cent respondents preferring this brand over others.
Awareness about the proposed launch of electric cars in India currently was observed to be high. Among the 70 per cent who are aware of an international brand launching an electric car in India, about 20 per cent claimed it to be Tesla, and about 10 per cent claimed it to be Toyota.
When quizzed about the most anticipated brands to launch an electric car in the near future, Tata (39 per cent) was the most widely recalled Indian Brand, followed by Maruti (15 per cent).
As per respondents, government initiatives that are likely to boost consideration of and subsequent purchase of electric cars are promotion of electric vehicle usage, especially cars by providing subsidies and reducing related taxes, such as road tax.
Identifying indigenous ways of reducing the cost of electric car components and configuration, thus reducing the overall cost of purchase and maintenance of the vehicle will play an important role in purchase decisions.
Close to 50 per cent of the respondents own more than 1 car. This is slightly higher in the national capital Delhi, where close to 2/3rds of the households owning multiple cars.
The sedan is the most widely owned category with a share of about 30 per cent, followed by the SUV. 1 in 5 cars owned by the respondents is a Maruti or a Hyundai. Maruti dominates the hatchback (B HB) category, while Hyundai is widely owned in the Sedan segment (B –Sedan & C/D Sedan). Honda is also popular in the B –Sedan category and the SUV category is dominated by Mahindra.
On an average 3 cars were evaluated by the respondents during the decision-making process for their purchase. In line with the ownership, SUV and sedan are the most popular categories for the respondents.
While safety features like airbags, ABS were considered important, engine performance and fuel efficiency were the top factors considered when evaluating the purchase of a car.
Honda came up as the most desired brand among all car owners. Also, satisfaction quotient among the owners of Honda, Maruti, Toyota, and Mahindra, was high, as the majority of them are willing to consider the same brand for their next purchase as well.