Electric vehicles sales, excluding e-rickshaws, in India witnessed a growth by 20 per cent at 1.56 lakh units in 2019-20 driven by two-wheelers, said Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).
According to SMEV’s statement, in 2018-19, total EV sales in India stood at 1.3 lakh units.
Out of the total sales in FY20, 1.52 lakh units were two-wheelers, 3,400 cars and 600 buses. The corresponding sale for the 2018-19 was 1.26 two-wheelers, 3,600 cars and around 400 buses, it added.
“This figure does not include e-rickshaws which is still largely with the unorganized sector with a reported sale of around 90,000 units. The corresponding figures of the e-ricks sold in the previous year have not been documented,” SMEV said.
The growth in the EV sales in the country was driven by the electric two-wheeler (E2W) segment.
It added, “In the E2Ws sold in FY2019-20, 97 per cent were electric scooters and a very small volume of motorcycles and electric cycles filled the rest of 3 per cent. Low-speed scooters that go at a max speed of 25km/hr and do not need registration with the transport authorities constituted a whopping 90 per cent of all the E2Ws sold.”
Though, the sale in electric four-wheeler segment saw a decrease from 3,600 units in previous fiscal year to 3,400 units in FY20. This is mainly due to lack of bulk purchase of e-cars in FY19-20 and discontinuation of one of the leading car models, it added.
SMEV said, “the acceptability of electric cars in the premium segment in the second half of the year was a positive signal of a quantum jump of a much higher volume of e-cars in FY 20-21.”
It added that the e-taxi segment is also starting to get some traction, though the range of e-cars and lack of charging spots in enough density are a deterrent in the growth of e-taxi segment.
Although, the big commitments by state governments for e-buses did not translate into purchases.
SMEV Director General Mr Sohinder Gill said, “the EV industry is taking shape and we believe that despite the COVID-19, FY20-21 will be a defining year for all the EV segments.”
He further added, “while the EV industry is surely going to face the brunt of COVID-19 like any other automotive business, the clearer skies and the cleaner air in even the worst polluting cities is certainly leaving a permanent impression in the minds of the customers about how they can breathe easy and remain healthy if the society moves towards e-mobility.”
Mr Gill said given the right impetus by the government and the industry, “the EV industry can spring back faster than the ailing IC vehicles segment”.
“A pertinent factor that may work in favour of E2Ws post-COVID would be the choice of switching over from crowded mass transport to the sensibly priced electric two-wheelers with almost the same cost of commuting, as of public transport,” he added.
He said there could be an inflection point in the EV industry in FY21-22 because of many factors such as experiments like E2Ws being sold without batteries and customer paying for batteries as a fuel; e-commerce companies realising the economic benefits of EVs and converting their fleets.
Also, e-carts becoming a convenient and cost-effective means of short distance logistics, e-taxis fleets beginning to make money due to lower operating costs may contribute to the growth of the EV industry.