Indian Fleet Operators unwilling to pay the 20% premium price for EVs

India's EV dream

The Indian scene when it comes to electric vehicles is not very fascinating to look at. It is marred with a lot of problems and the room for improvement and development is vast. There is a chance for monopoly if a company comes in with never say never attitude and decides to start from scratch. Every sector of electric vehicles in India has a scope to grow and is a business worth billions of dollars. The battery business alone is tempting to reach $300 billion in India by the time we hit 2030.

However, the Indian market is not growing at all. The government is trying extremely hard to rope in major businessmen on this but there doesn’t seem to be enough interest as there is no one ready to bet on a business with no infrastructure in place. This is the reason there are fewer businessmen with piles of money overlooking this opportunity. Entrepreneurs are opportunists but that is not the case in India when we look at the electric vehicle market.

That said, the government is looking bring out the best in the small time businessmen but it is very hard to build a huge business and achieve a 7% EV goal by 2030 with just small businesses. Maruti Suzuki, a company which accounts for almost 50% of the car sales in India did a survey which revealed something shocking. The Indian car aggregators or the Indian Fleet Operators are unwilling to pay the 20% premium for electric vehicles. This is huge development as to get EVs out in the open Fleet Operators are a major source and.

This is a major setback in the EV dream of India. The companies that have denied the same include the likes of Ola, Uber, and Zoomcar. These are the major cab aggregators in India and these are the companies that look to operate with the majority of the share in their pockets. This is where it gets hard for the government as it cannot put up an option for the consumers apart from these companies.

Ola’s electric vehicle project in Nagpur was shelved because the drivers were unhappy with the cars and the prices that were skyrocketing to maintain the car. Apart from it, there was a rather long line for charging vehicles. This is another example of infrastructure and it is the missing link between progress in this field for India.

Ola, however, is trying hard to get into this space with the company showing off its concept EVs and looking for partners to make components. The company is talking to different vendors so that Ola could bring the price down and also the charging time down to minutes from hours. The expected charging time should be down to 45-60 minutes and the run-range should be up to 150-200 km. This will make a fleet model viable, provided there are multiple charging stations to charge their vehicles.

-Unmesh Phule

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