Once again the Indian EV segment is already down in the dumps before it had a chance to take off. Lack of a clear EV policy, no massive subsidies or big steps to get EVs here means that great cars like the Honda E (as shown here) will not make inroads into the Indian market.
While promoting EVs are on the agenda, from the view of a car-maker, things are not clear on the EV front. At the moment the sops given are not enough for a car-maker to launch a proper EV.
A car like the small sized Honda E would be 16-18 lakhs, but if given massive concessions, the pricing could be reduced and it could find takers. Currently, the cost of an EV is too high and that means a car like the Honda E would be too expensive.
This is dismal because India is missing out on the latest automotive trends— which are— clean, small and efficient mobility. The Honda E is fully electric yet looks cool and has five doors with a futuristic interior.
With more than ample range (250km) this is the perfect car for cities, and is something many Indian car buyers would want at the correct price.
The automobile industry is changing to meet the evolving car-buyer’s needs, but for India, due to high costs and crippling taxes, new technology in automobiles is not reaching here.
What needs to be done? A car-maker needs to first see demand before committing to local assembly as for an EV it would be expensive and time consuming. Importing EVs and selling in India must receive a huge cut in import duties and GST.
In that way, many car-makers would feel encouraged to sell their EVs and import cars thus spurring demand. At the moment it's not feasible for a car-maker to import an EV and neither to assemble. Hence there is nothing on sale.
India is ready for EVs. But at the right price...