Should one buy an electric car or not?
The world is struggling with the dangers of climate change and is searching for alternative sources of clean energy. In such a scenario, the era of electric cars has begun.
Advertisements of electric cars are on the rise these days. The number of EVs on the road is rapidly increasing too. If you are considering purchasing a new car, you may probably be confused as to whether you should buy an electric car or a petrol-diesel one? This question is not only on your mind but is plaguing every such person who is planning to buy a car and is aware of the incentive offered by the government on EV.
Is buying an EV profitable deal or not? In order to clear doubts, we need to examine the different aspects of the subject. First, let us discuss the matter of the price of an EV. In a country where even the price of vegetables is bargained over, it is obvious that the cost of an EV is a matter of importance for someone who is planning to spend Rs.5-10 lakh. So, let us first examine an electric car and a petrol-diesel one as per this criterion.
There is a sizable difference between the cost of a petrol-diesel car and an EV. For purchasing an EV, one has to pay almost double the amount of money. While the cost of an entry level petrol-diesel car starts from Rs 4.5 lakh, the price of the cheapest electric car in India is around Rs 8.5 lakh. However, on the purchase of an EV, one is entitled to the government subsidy that is subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 1.5 lakh. This can be deducted from the cost of an electric car.
Now let us discuss the running cost of the car. At the moment, the cost of petrol and diesel are approximately Rs.97 and Rs 90 per litre, respectively. As compared to this, the running cost of an EV is quite low. In other words, the extra amount of money that one has to pay at the time of purchase of an electric car is recovered within 6-8 years. This also depends on the number of kilometers that the car is driven every month.
Running cost/Kilometre (in Rs) 5-9 1.2-1.5
Running cost (6-8 years, in Rs) 4-8.6 lakh 86,000-1.44 lakh
In terms of maintenance too, an EV is a cheaper option. Its maintenance cost provides a big advantage.
Life 10-15 years 10-12 years
Maintenance 10,000-15,000/yr Almost nil
Replacement cost Nil Starts from Rs 3 lakh
Let us now consider the cost of charging. The cost of charging the battery in electric cars is of importance. For instance, in Delhi, the cost incurred at a charging station amounts to Rs 4-4.5/unit whereas the domestic rate is Rs. 3-8/unit. In other words, one will have to spend Rs 80-202 to charge an EV at a charging station but the cost will be around Rs 160-450 if it is charged at home.
Another matter of consideration is that of the battery of an EV. In order to promote EVs, the government has introduced the battery swapping policy, wherein, you can exchange the discharged battery of your electric car for a charged one, at any battery swapping station. On a long road trip, battery swapping would prove to be immensely helpful. It will help save the time spent on charging the battery.
Now let us learn about the opinion of experts on the matter.
Should we invest in an EV? On this subject, auto expert Tutu Dhawan says that one should wait for at least 5 years before purchasing an EV. An EV should be purchased only when the facilities of parking and charging infrastructure are in place. He advises against outstation trips in an EV. There is no doubt that the maintenance of an EV is only 20-30 percent that of a petrol-diesel car. However, the resale value of an EV is extremely low. It is not clear yet as to whether the life of the battery of an EV lasts for 5-6 years or 12 years. Dhawan advises purchasing a petrol car instead of an expensive electric one. The difference in the cost of the two can be saved and invested in an FD. The interest accrued on this FD can be used to run the car.
Now, it is for you to decide whether you would prefer to drive a petrol-diesel car or an EV.
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