Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!

EVs & no hybrids

Like the rest of the world, the trend in the automobile sector is changing in India too. We have more manufacturers now shifting or planning to shift from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric vehicles (EVs). While it may seem that everything is on track, there are still many issues with this technology. In India, hybrids would make more sense as they are more convenient; however, due to various reasons, we are mostly getting EVs. What are those reasons? That is what we’ll be discussing in this article in an elaborate manner.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!
MG Cloud EV

List of EVs

In India, we have manufacturers like Tata, MG, Mahindra, Hyundai, Kia, BYD, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi, and Citroen that majorly sell EVs. Tata offers Tigor EV, Tiago EV, Punch EV, and Nexon EV in its EV lineup. Similarly, MG sells the Comet and ZS EV.

Mahindra has the XUV400, while BYD sells the Atto3, E6, and Seal. Hyundai and Kia sell the Ioniq 5 and EV6 respectively. Citroen also sells the eC3 in the market. We won’t be discussing the luxury segment EVs in this article.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!
Nexon EV & Punch EV

In May 2024, Tata sold 5,083 units of EVs. MG sold 1,441 units, Mahindra sold 564 units, and BYD sold 163 units. Hyundai sold 96 units, Kia sold 21 units, and Citroen sold 86 units of EVs in the market last month.

List of Hybrids

In hybrid cars, the customer does not have to rely on charging stations and can drive the vehicle in a usual manner as the batteries get charged automatically when the car is in motion. They are fuel-efficient and are cleaner than a regular ICE vehicle.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!
Maruti Suzuki Invicto

In India, we have cars like Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota Innova Hycross, Maruti Invicto, and Honda City Hybrid in the affordable strong hybrid cars segment.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!
Honda City Hybrid

In most cases, the exact number of hybrid vehicles sold is not available as they are combined with the total non-hybrid versions. In May alone, Maruti sold 193 units of Invicto, which is only available with a strong hybrid system.

Reasons to Buy Electric Cars

From a buyer’s perspective, there are several compelling reasons to choose an electric vehicle (EV) over a hybrid or gasoline/diesel car:

Fuel Cost Savings: As an EV owner, you’ll enjoy significant savings on fuel costs compared to a hybrid or gas-powered vehicle. Electricity is much cheaper than gasoline or diesel, and you can conveniently charge your EV at home, avoiding frequent trips to the gas station.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!
tata nexon charging

Cheap Home Charging: Home power, as well as solar options, make charging affordable and accessible.

Lower Maintenance Costs: EVs have fewer moving parts than hybrid or combustion engine vehicles, leading to lower maintenance and repair costs over the lifetime of the car. You’ll save money on oil changes, tune-ups, and other maintenance tasks.

Government Incentives: Many governments offer generous purchase rebates, tax credits, and other financial incentives to encourage EV adoption. These incentives can significantly reduce the upfront cost of buying an EV, making it more affordable compared to a hybrid or gas-powered car.

Improved Performance: Modern EVs offer impressive acceleration and performance, often surpassing hybrid and gasoline/diesel vehicles in these areas. The instant torque provided by electric motors makes EVs fun to drive and responsive in everyday situations.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!

Environmental Benefits: By choosing an EV, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to cleaner air in your community. EVs produce zero direct emissions, making them a more environmentally friendly choice compared to hybrid or combustion engine vehicles.

Quieter Driving Experience: EVs operate silently, providing a more peaceful and relaxing driving experience compared to the noise and vibrations of hybrid or gas-powered cars.

Reasons Not to Buy Electric Cars

Higher Upfront Cost: EVs typically have a higher sticker price compared to hybrid or combustion engine vehicles, which can be a significant deterrent for many buyers.

Limited Charging Infrastructure: The lack of widespread and convenient charging stations, especially for those living in apartments or without dedicated parking, can make owning an EV challenging.

Extended Charging Time: Charging an EV takes significantly longer than refueling a hybrid or gas-powered car, which can be inconvenient for long-distance travel or unexpected situations.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!
range anxiety

Range Anxiety: Despite improvements in battery technology, many buyers still worry about the limited range of EVs compared to hybrid or combustion engine vehicles, especially for outstation travel.

Fewer Options in the Market: The EV market is still relatively new, with fewer players and models available compared to the well-established hybrid and gasoline/diesel vehicle segments.

Higher Insurance Costs: Insurance premiums for EVs can be higher due to the cost of the vehicles and the specialized nature of repairs.

Lack of Used Options: The scarcity of affordable used EVs with sufficient range can be a barrier for buyers on a tighter budget. There are also doubts about the life of the battery for a used car buyer. The resale value of such cars is also a concern.

Why Does the Government Promote EVs?

Worldwide Trend: Governments do not want to be left behind in the global shift towards EVs.

Cleaner Cities: Emissions move to battery production and mining areas, not in the cities. No tailpipe emissions mean cleaner cities.

Reduced Dependence on Foreign Oil: EVs reduce reliance on foreign oil, leading to foreign exchange savings.

Economic Boost: Promoting EVs can help boost the industry overall, as new manufacturers come in, which is good for the economy and job growth. Examples include Ather, Ola, Ultraviolette, etc.

Buyers Want Cheap Hybrids; But They Will Get EVs Instead: This Is Why!
2024 Tata Curvv Coupe EV

Avoiding Conflicts with Local Manufacturers: Promoting hybrids alongside electrics may hit EV sales. People would prefer hybrids for now, and huge investments in EV production by local manufacturers like Tata and Mahindra could go wasted.

Tax and Subsidy Considerations: Promoting hybrids translates to lower taxes and subsidies on hybrids, which the finance ministry might resist. While the road transport ministry may want lower GST on hybrids, there will be strong resistance from the finance ministry.