More Indians Favouring EVs, Hybrids Against ICE Vehicle: Deloitte

Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study 2019 showed more Indians are inclined to buy EVs and Hybrids driven by government policies

Indian consumers are increasingly warming up to  EVs and are looking to buy a hybrid or an electric vehicle over conventional powertrain-driven cars. The shift has been made possible due to supportive environmental policies, big-brand bets and shift in buyers’ mindset, shows a report by global consultancy firm Deloitte.

About 39 % of the respondents in the country said they would prefer a hybrid, a battery or an alternate powertrain-powered vehicle when buying their next vehicle, this was a positive jump from a previous 31 % in 2018 as per the 2019 Deloitte Survey.

However, the survey also disclosed that around 21 % of the buyers preferred a hybrid electric vehicle to resolve issues related to range anxiety. About 6% said they would opt for full-electric vehicles while 12 % of respondents would prefer other technology.

Discussing the survey, Rajeev Singh, partner and automotive sector leader at Deloitte India, said, “Hybrid vehicles allow consumers to experience battery-powered vehicles but do so in an environment they are comfortable in. There are no related issues pertaining to range anxiety. From a supply perspective too, hybrid vehicles would give automakers time to set up a vendor base to move on to full electrics. It is a good intermediate technology.”

The current challenges that mire the nascent EV market range from the affordability of fully electric vehicles and lack of adequate charging infrastructure, which is why the four-wheeler EV segment will remain limited mid-term among private consumers. “We will see electrification take off in a big way first in three-wheelers, followed by two-wheelers and fleet taxi operators in India,” Singh added.

Other issues that need immediate focus: 76 % of the consumers in India feel that increased vehicle connectivity will be beneficial. On features of the connected vehicle, 84 % of the consumers are more interested in updates regarding traffic congestion, suggested alternate routes, suggestions regarding safer routes, updates to improve road safety, prevent potential collisions, maintenance updates and vehicle health reports. While there is increasing interest among consumers in India regarding battery-powered vehicles and connected mobility solutions, as many as 48 % of them felt that autonomous vehicles will not be safe for use in the country. Consumers are looking to the government to exert a significant amount of control over the development and use of AVs.

In India currently, 47% of the consumers use their own vehicle every day which is expected to rise to 50% in three years from now.

Ride-hailing is another positive concept catching on in India. As many as 51 % of Gen Y/Z users here are responding positively to the idea of shared mobility. Young buyers, especially millennials, are showing acceptance for alternate modes of vehicle usage such as subscription and lease.

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