Electric two and three wheelers to zoom ahead in the next 4 years: Crisil

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on February 11, 2020 Published on February 11, 2020

At the other end, sales of personal electric cars will remain in the slow lane due to high acquisition and ownership costs, in the absence of demand incentives.

As electric two wheelers and three wheelers in India now enjoy better cost economics compared with their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts, 43-48 per cent of new 3-wheelers (excluding e-rickshaws), and 12-17 per cent of new 2-wheelers sold will be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2024, according to a Crisil Research report.

But traction may be low for 4-wheelers, with only about five per cent of new sales likely to be EVs.

Faster adoption of two- and three-wheelers is a function of cost. Typically, electric scooters are cheaper to run compared with ICE scooters. And e-autos are cheaper to both own and run compared with their ICE counterparts, the report said.

“In the context, supply will also be a critical factor for adoption. The top five electric two-wheeler manufacturers are expected to increase their capacity for electric variants from 0.4 million units in fiscal 2020 to over 3 million units by fiscal 2024,” Hetal Gandhi, Director, CRISIL Research, said.

“In three-wheelers, even incumbent original equipment manufacturers are launching e-autos at a rapid pace. But low-speed, four-seater e-rickshaws are fast emerging as an alternative to e-autos because of being about 30 per cent cheaper,” she said.

At the other end, sales of personal electric cars will remain in the slow lane due to high acquisition and ownership costs, in the absence of demand incentives.

Cab aggregators, though, will step on the accelerator as these will enjoy better operational economies and subsidies. A cab aggregator e-car that runs about 50,000 km a year, for instance, can save about Rs.1.65 lakh a year compared with Rs.35,000 for a personal e-car that runs about 10,000 km a year.

And in the commercial vehicles space, subsidies to state transport undertakings will drive sales of electric buses for intra-city operations.

But, poor public charging infrastructure will impact adoption.

“The government has created a policy push for EVs with the second instalment of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India or FAME II policy and numerous efficiency and emission regulations. However, India has much catching up to do in terms of the four drivers of growth globally – battery price, demand incentives, supply push, and charging infrastructure. That means policy implementation will be crucial to faster adoption of EVs in India,” said Pushan Sharma, Associate Director, CRISIL Research.

CRISIL Research expects the landed cost of lithium ion battery – a key driver of EV adoption in India – to come down in line with an expected drop in global prices by fiscal 2024.

Execution of the government’s phased manufacturing programme for EV batteries, too, will help drive down battery prices.

Till then, EV adoption will be gradual, giving auto component manufacturers enough time to realign their operations.

The study looks at demand, supply and policy growth drivers for EVs such as battery costs, government subsidy and charging infrastructure, besides conducting a segment-wise analysis of the cost of acquisition and operation of EVs compared with existing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Published on February 11, 2020
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