Kerala Now India’s Leading State In Electric Vehicle Adoption

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Kerala has become India’s leading state in terms of electric vehicle adoption. The state surpassed Karnataka and Delhi in Fiscal Year 2024 (April 2023-March 2024) in registrations of battery-powered vehicles. Earlier, Kerala was leading in terms of electric car registration numbers only, but now it has climbed the charts for electric two-wheeler registration numbers as well. For comparison, in FY23, Kerala was in third place for two-wheelers.

Kerala Now India’s Leading State In Electric Vehicle Adoption

Regarding the electric two-wheeler segment growth, Kerala has witnessed a substantial increase, with penetration reaching 13.5 percent in FY24, compared to 8.4 percent in the previous fiscal year. For comparison, the growth rate in Karnataka for FY24 was 11.5 percent, Maharashtra was 10.1 percent, and Delhi was 9.4 percent. This impressive growth marks a significant milestone not only for Kerala but also for other states, as this is the first time electric two-wheeler penetration has crossed double digits.

Even though the state has reached double-digit growth, total sales numbers are low comparatively. About 65,000 units were sold in FY24 in Kerala. In comparison, during the same period, Maharashtra and Karnataka recorded sales of 1.84 lakh units and 1.5 lakh units, respectively.

Kerala Now India’s Leading State In Electric Vehicle Adoption

The state’s success can be attributed to its bold approach to promote electric vehicles. This includes the implementation of an EV policy in 2019. This policy offers various incentives such as free vehicle registration, exemption on road tax, toll exemption, and free parking. These incentives have played a crucial role in encouraging consumers to switch to electric vehicles.

Other than the EV policy, there are multiple reasons for the state’s adoption of EVs.

• Ease of charging—In Kerala, the majority of the population lives in proper houses, not apartments or flats. Hence, all EV buyers can charge their car overnight at home.
• Driving distance—EVs in the Indian market offer a range upwards of 200 km, which is more than enough for an average consumer. This means people have to charge their car once every 3 to 4 days.
• Charging infrastructure – As of February 2024, Kerala has about 960 EV charging stations. This makes EVs suitable even for long distances in the state.
• Fuel prices—Fuel prices are comparatively higher in Kerala. While in other states, petrol prices are below Rs. 100 per litre, in Kerala, they are above Rs. 105.

Kumar Rakesh, Analyst—IT & Auto, BNP Paribas Securities India Pvt Ltd, told Businessline,

In addition to demand incentives, the EV policy focused on providing capital subsidies for charging infrastructure. Along with this, high customer awareness about lower TCO (total cost of ownership) and the government’s focus on improving charging infrastructure have supported the adoption of EVs.

In summary, the state’s focus on enhancing charging infrastructure, paired with increased customer awareness about the lower total cost of ownership of electric vehicles, has contributed to the adoption of EVs in Kerala. These factors have created a favourable environment for the adoption of electric mobility in the state.

Talking about the passenger vehicle segment, Kerala has also witnessed a significant rise in EV penetration with growth numbers reaching 5.2 percent in FY24, compared to 2.3 percent in FY23. In contrast, these numbers were lower in other states with Karnataka standing at 3.1 percent and the capital Delhi standing at 3.2 percent.