Electric vehicles might be the next step in personal transportation but they still have a long way go to. The president of Hyundai Motors India, S S Kim said that the Indian automotive market will be slow to adapt to electric vehicles and it may not even cross 1 percent of overall sales in the next three years. This is after considering the various benefits and tax concessions that the government is offering.
Hyundai is working on an all-new affordable electric car for India. However, the high costs of a lithium-ion battery, the range on a single charge and constraints on affordability are the challenges that they are currently facing.
The sales of passenger vehicles in 2020 was around 2.5 million units in our country and when we calculate 1 percent of this will be 25,000 units for electric vehicles. However, in reality, the actual sales of electric vehicles were just 3,500 units. Hyundai estimated that if the total sales increase to 4 million units then also the sales of electric vehicles would be less than 4,000.
The consumer clinics of Hyundai have provided that the minimum range an electric car should offer is 200 km. Hyundai does offer an electric vehicle in their line-up known as the Kona Electric. It has a claimed range of 452 km. However, in real-world conditions, the electric crossover has been able to deliver from 320 km to 400 km for some people. While the range might seem decent, the price of Kona Electric is on the higher side. The Kona Electric starts at Rs. 23.77 lakhs ex-showroom.
The Kona Electric takes 57 minutes to charge up to 80 percent when using a 50kW fast charger. The 7.2kW AC home charger that is installed at the owner’s home takes 6 hours 10 minutes for a full charge. Then there is the portable 2.8kW charger that can be plugged into a regular wall socket. It takes 19 hours to fully charge the vehicle.
Hyundai is investing Rs. 1,000 Crore for an affordable EV that will be a ‘Made In India’ project. Hyundai might join hands with Kia who is their sister company. Kia itself is looking into domestic production of electric vehicles to make them competitive and affordable. Kim said, “We should offer solutions that are affordable and reasonable. We feel that electrification will be the main pillar of our operations in the future.”
The Kona Electric competes against the MG ZS EV which recently got an update that increased its range. The ZS EV is more affordable as it starts at Rs. 20.99 lakhs ex-showroom. It offers a claimed range of 419 km. There is a 7.4kW charger that can be installed at your home or office. It can fully charge the ZS EV in 6 to 8 hours. The 50 kW DC fast charger can charge up to 80 percent in less than 50 minutes. If you use the portable charger that can be plugged into regular socket then it will take around 18 to 19 hours to fully charge the vehicle.