The first month of FY23 saw electric vehicle registrations record an overall decline of six per cent on a sequential basis amid intensifying debate on EV safety and power sources for charging EVs. Year-on-year numbers, however, registered a significant growth.

Total registered EV sales in April 2022 stood at 72,519 units as compared to 77,243 units in March 2022 and 14,179 units in April 2021, according to data on Vahan Dashboard. 

EV registrations in April 2022 were driven by electric two-wheelers and passenger-type electric three-wheelers which, together, accounted for about 93 per cent of total registrations.. The shares of these categories were followed by electric cars (close to 4 per cent) and cargo-type electric three-wheelers (three per cent), among others, said a report by JMK Research. 

Last month, the overall high-speed electric two-wheeler registrations stood at about 49,141 units as against 49,491 units in March 2022 as the month saw heightened debate over recent fire incidents involving electric two-wheelers and the consequent recall of electric scooters by companies such as Ola, PURE EV and Okinawa.    

Supply chain collapse

Hero Electric, the top electric two-wheeler maker in India, had said the company’s production was hit by the international chip shortage and has further increased the waiting list for its customers to 60-plus days and some of the dealerships have no stock to display. 

“It’s like putting an emergency brake on a fast-moving train. Our sales were almost doubling month on month and we somehow managed with sourcing from different geographies but the war collapsed a major supply chain resulting in this disruption,” Sohinder Gill, CEO, Hero Electric, said. 

“The recent happenings of fire incidents is an awakening call for the industry and we believe that even the best of the companies should introspect and constantly improve their designs and quality to repose confidence in the electric mobility that is going through such a robust growth path,” he added. 

Ravneet S. Phokela, Chief Business Officer of Ather Energy, said the company recorded its highest-ever monthly sales of 3,779 electric scooters in April 2022. The number of deliveries is a fraction of the pre-orders due to unprecedented challenges on the supply chain side, including components shortage. 

Negative impact of fire incidents

Industry analysts point out that despite the strong growth potential for electric two-wheelers, fire incidents have the potential to negatively impact the growing market.  

“Recent fires have the potential to discourage new users to buy electric vehicles, who may now become more cautious and aware of the potential challenges. However, to quell these fears, the government should publicly share the key reasons for the fire incidents and penalise OEMs in case the batteries did not meet the necessary quality standards,” Rishabh Jain, Programme Lead, CEEW-CEF (Centre for Energy and Finance), told BusinessLine.  

“Also, the testing and certification mechanism of batteries may be revisited based on the finding from the investigation of fire incidents. Awareness campaigns by OEMs and government agencies on best practices of electric vehicle usage should also be carried out,” he added.  

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The total electric car registrations in April 2022 stood at 2,659 units, witnessing a m-o-m fall of 26 per cent but a yo-y surge of 345 per cent in registrations. While Tata Motors has been driving the E-car sales (accounted for 87 per cent of registration last month) sales of electric cars by BYD, Audi, and BMW witnessed a pick-up during the month. 

Total electric three-wheeler registration stood at 21,043 units, which included 19,461 units of e-rickshaws, 700 units of passenger vehicles and 812 units of cargo vehicles, according to CEEW-CEF analysis. 

 

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