Electric cars are the future of transportation. Yes, there are few hindrances in terms of charging infrastructure, especially in our country but still, some people are stepping up and buying electric vehicles. However, in the international markets, people are buying electric vehicles and they also have good charging infrastructure but still, 1 out of 5 electric car owners switches back to petrol cars. This study has been done by the University of California and the research was done on the residents of California only.
The report says that 1 out of 5 people who have owned an electric vehicle switched back to a conventional internal combustion-powered vehicle. The research also states the reason for people to revert back to conventional ICE vehicles. The biggest reason for switching back to an ICE powered vehicle is the inconvenience that the owner has to go through while charging the batteries of the electric vehicles. The time required to recharge the battery of the vehicle is significantly more than the refuelling a gas tank of the car. The average time taken to refuel the gas tank of the vehicle is 3 to 5 minutes whereas recharging the battery of a vehicle would at least take 30 minutes and that too would not make a significant increase in the range of the vehicle.
The charging unit placed at the home in California is a Level 1 charger that puts out 120 volts. When compared the Level 2 chargers that are considered ‘fast chargers’ puts out 240 volts. But the issue is that over 70 percent of the electric vehicle owners do not have a Level 2 charger installed in their homes. The study also reveals that over two-thirds of electric vehicle owners do not public charging facilities.
Finally, the research says that while Electric vehicles have developed a lot in terms of battery, safety, technology and comfort, it is the process of recharging the battery that has stayed the same for so many years. The spokesperson said, “What is clear is that this could slow PEV market growth and make reaching 100% PEV sales more difficult.”
Similar issue in India
India is also facing a similar issue regarding the adoption of electric vehicles. While there are some electric vehicles on sale in our market, the facility to charge them at public places is seriously lacking. There are very few public charging facilities in India. If you want to go on a long highway journey you would have to plan your journey for the stops that you would need to take to recharge your battery whereas, on a gas-powered vehicle, you would just fill up the tank and go and even if you fuel level drops, there are a lot of petrol pumps located on the highways. So, range anxiety will be there for people who want to own an electric vehicle.
There are other issues also. For instance, the high price of electric vehicles. The ICE powered Tata Nexon starts at just Rs. 7.09 lakhs ex-showroom whereas the base variant of the Nexon EV costs Rs. 13.99 lakhs ex-showroom. Similarly, the top-end variant of the Nexon costs Rs. 12.79 lakhs ex-showroom and the top-end variant of the Nexon EV costs Rs. 16.39 lakhs ex-showroom. Then there is the high cost of batteries which we would need to import from other countries. The parts and components would also be imported that would work with the battery. There is a high investment cost for the manufacturers to incur, some parts of our country still have an irregular electricity supply and there is also a lack of proper maintenance from some service centres.