A major new study released by Castrol draws on the views of consumers, fleet managers and automotive industry leaders from across India to reveal the factors driving EV buying decisions.
The study reveals that, on average for consumers in India, a price point of ₹23,00,000 (or $31,000), a charge time of 35 minutes and a range of 401 kilometres (from a single charge) represent the ‘tipping points’ to achieve mainstream EV adoption. The research also estimates that the annual EV market in India could be worth $2 billion by 2025
Sandeep Sangwan, Managing Director, Castrol India Ltd said: “Castrol’s global research shows that consumers are positive about making the switch to electric; buyers in India are keen to do so earlier than those in other markets. Although consumers in India are seeking a lower price point than consumers in other countries, they are also willing to accept a slightly longer charge time and a slightly shorter range. These market-specific nuances are important; Accelerating the EVolution provides a clear roadmap for the industry to help support the transition to accelerate mainstream adoption of EVs in India and around the world.”
Castrol’s study examined five critical challenges that should be addressed to promote further growth in the EV market.
Key findings from the opinion research, which was conducted from December 2019 to January 2020, include:
Is 2022 – the year of the EV?
On average, consumers in India said they would consider purchasing an EV by 2022. This is two years earlier than the global average (2024). However, two-thirds of consumers in India said they are adopting a “wait and see” approach whereas over 40% of fleet managers said they are waiting for competitors to make the switch before they do.
Price is the number one priority for consumers in India with 67% of those surveyed saying that EVs are currently beyond their budget. The ₹23,00,000 ‘tipping point’ for consumers in India is lower than the global average of ₹27,00,000. Misconceptions about maintenance costs could be stopping consumers making the switch: 83% of Indian consumers say that these costs were preventing them from buying a fully electric car.
Demand for shorter charging times
Charge time was identified as the second most important challenge to the mainstream adoption of EVs, and consumers in India said they require an average charge time of 35 minutes before they would consider purchasing an EV. This is several minutes longer than the global average of 31 minutes. Nearly 72% of those questioned believe EVs will only dominate on the roads once they can charge in a similar amount of time as it takes to refuel an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
The range was ranked third on the priority list, with 64% of Indian drivers agreeing it is a significant barrier to mainstream adoption of EVs. On average, they expect a range of 401 km (from a single charge), approximately equivalent to the distance between Ahmedabad and Indore. This is significantly lower than the global ‘tipping point’ range of 469 km.
Mandhir Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Castrol said: “The automotive industry has already demonstrated what it can achieve in response to the coronavirus crisis, turning its capabilities to producing much needed medical equipment. With EV technology constantly improving, the challenge now will be to drive a low-carbon recovery and accelerate the EVolution as quickly as possible. Castrol has been working with the automotive industry to develop unique e-Fluid technology to support EVs, from battery coolant e-fluid, e-greases and transmission fluids. Bringing down the cost and charge time for electric vehicles while increasing range, infrastructure and vehicle choice will be critical to persuading consumers to make the switch to EVs.”