Electric Vehicle Sales In India Up 20% In 2019-20, Industry Body Says
The engine block of a Hyundai Kona EV is displayed during the vehicle’s launch at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, Haryana, India, in July 2019. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Electric Vehicle Sales In India Up 20% In 2019-20, Industry Body Says

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Electric vehicles sales, excluding e-rickshaws, grew by 20 percent in India in 2019-20, industry body Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles said on Monday.

As many as 1.56 lakh EVs were sold in the country in 2019-20 as against 1.3 lakh units in the previous fiscal, SMEV said in a statement.

"This figure does not include e-rickshaws, which is still largely with the unorganised sector with a reported sale of around 90,000 units,” SMEV said. “The corresponding figures of the e-ricks sold in the previous year have not been documented.”

Electric two-wheelers accounted for nearly 97.5 percent of all EVs sold in FY20.

Break-up of EV sales in India in 2019-20:

  • 1.52 lakh electric two-wheelers
  • 3,400 electric cars
  • 600 electric buses

And among the electric two-wheelers sold, 97 percent were scooters.

"In the E2Ws sold in FY2019-20, 97 percent were electric scooters and a very small volume of motorcycles and electric cycles filled the rest of 3 percent,” SMEV said. “Low-speed scooters (max speed of 25 km/hr) that do not need registration constituted a whopping 90 percent of all the E2Ws sold.”

In the electric four-wheeler segment, 3,400 units were sold in FY20 compared to 3,600 units in the previous fiscal year. The decrease in numbers is attributed mainly due to lack of bulk purchase of electric cars and discontinuation of one of the leading car models, it added.

"The acceptability of electric cars in the premium segment in the second half of the year was a positive signal of a quantum jump in sales in FY21,” SMEV said.

The e-taxi segment is also beginning to get some traction, though the range of electric cars and lack of charging stations are deterrents to growth. When it comes to electic buses, big commitments by state governments did not translate into purchases.

Covid-19 Impact On EV Sales

“The EV industry is taking shape and we believe that despite Covid-19, FY21 will be a defining year for all EV segments,” SMEV Director General Sohinder Gill said, adding that given the right impetus by the government and the industry, "EV industry can spring back faster than the ailing IC vehicles segment".

Post Covid-19, Gill is anticipating a “switching over" from crowded public transport to electric two-wheelers as the cost of commuting is similar for both modes of transport.

According to him, 2021-22 could be an inflection point for the EV industry in India, due to experiments such as electric two-wheelers sold without batteries and customers paying for the same like petrol. E-commerce firms are also realising the economic benefits of EVs and converting their fleets accordingly, he said.

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