Economy

Buyers willing to pay premium for electric vehicles

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on November 14, 2017

Electricvehicle

Nearly 46% say willing to shell out Rs 1-2 lakh more, survey finds





After planning for around two years, the Government is now close to announcing an ambitious policy for the development of the electric/hybrid vehicle (xEV) sector. But, the question haunting potential investors is — are Indian car buyers really ready for this sea change in technology?

In a welcome surprise, a countrywide survey conducted by analytics firm Absolutdata indicates that Indians are actually very eager to adopt new technologies. That is if key factors such as pricing and a low running cost are met. 78 per cent of the respondents said that utility (space, fuel efficiency) is the primary reason for a car purchase.

Though nearly half of those looking for a new car opted for a diesel variant, an interesting finding was that 20 per cent said that they were also looking out for xEVs, and 40 per cent thought that they represented the future of the automobile. Asked if they would pay a premium for such technology, 46 per cent said that they were comfortable with a Rs 1-2 lakh higher price.

Inexpensive fuel

What are the reasons? More Indians seem to be going green – 69 per cent said they are concerned about the environment, while others said that inexpensive fuel source in xEVs makes them attractive (60 per cent). However, 62 per cent underlined that Government support is necessary for the success of such technology.

“The fact that demographically we are a young population is useful as far as adoption of new technologies is concerned. Though disposable incomes in the cities are rising fast and more people are buying cars, rising fossil fuel prices is bound to drive Indians towards alternative fuels – the growth of CNG is an example,” a sector analyst said.

So, what are the reasons cited by probable buyers to not chose a xEV? About 56 per cent were playing the wait-and-watch game to see how they perform in the market, while others worried about safety and charging infrastructure.

Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Hyundai were among the top choices, in case these companies do commercially launch an electric or hybrid in the market.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 02, 2012

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