Nearly 30 per cent of first-time car buyers in India are now buying electric cars due to the growing popularity of these vehicles.

The electric vehicle penetration in the country touched nearly a million in 2022 and continues to see growth with 79,800 battery-operated vehicle registrations in January (till January 26).

“First-time car buyers are roughly 25 to 30 per cent. We have never seen this before with electric vehicles as most people purchasing the cars would buy it for a second or third time. We are seeing significant highs of first-time buyers,” said Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd, and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd, while speaking on the company’s analyst call for the December quarter.

The company further stated that Compress Natural Gas (CNG) and Electric Vehicles contribute to 17 per cent of the passenger vehicle share. The EV segment witnessed a 130 per cent growth year-on-year with an 85 per cent market share.

businessline had earlier reported that a shift in purchasing patterns to the electric vehicles being the ‘only car’ increased to nearly 70 per cent from 25 per cent among Indian automobile consumers.

“The transition to EVs in two- and three-wheeler segment will be much faster than anticipated. Passenger vehicles are also seeing investments that are pushing electrification faster than anticipated,” said Hemal Thakkar, Director, of CRISIL Market Intelligence and Analytics to Businessline earlier.

Luxury electric switch

The demand for the luxury car segment’s EV models in India is increasing along with the penetration of electric vehicles.

“There is a trend towards electric mobility that is true in Europe, India, and Asia as well. The demand is much higher than the capacity to produce. There is a possibility that we did not anticipate such high demand. Our production lines, our capacity to purchase batteries have been underestimated and we are trying to catch up with the very strong demand,” said Jean-Philippe Parain, Senior Vice-President, Region Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa, BMW Group.

“Our five electric vehicles have received an overwhelming response. We currently have a strong order bank for the e-tron range. We will be launching, the Audi Q8 e-tron in the third quarter of 2023 in India,” said Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India.

Addressing Range anxiety

While Indian consumers are moving towards electric mobility, companies are ramping up infrastructure to address range anxiety. Tata Power announced that it would install 25,000 electric vehicle charging points in the next five years.

“Earlier, the density was 100-150 kms of DC fast chargers and a few CPOs even tried 7.5 KW AC chargers, when Kona and MG were being used for inter-city rides by customers. But with the advent of Nexon EVs for users to take up inter-city rides, it became imperative for this distance to become sub 100 kms. CPOs are now meeting this expectation and highways have started having 50 to 100 KM density of DC fast chargers, especially at food courts,” said Kartikey Hariyani, CEO and founder, Charge+Zone.

There has been a surge in recharging on outstation routes. “About 6-8 months back, on an average, we used to have 1 or 2 charging sessions per day but now on many of our charging stations, there are more than 6-8 sessions. We do have waiting too at some of the highways especially on Maharashtra highway. Today, we have electrified 5,000 kms and by the end of this financial year, we will have electrified 10,000 kms,” added Kartikey