Electric vehicles whether it be an Electric Scooter, Electric Bike or an Electric Car have become a point of discussion these days. Before the pressure of BS6 stuck the automobile sector, companies were working on their electric vehicle strategies in India and launching new products every now and then. So many of us had a common question in mind: “Are Electric vehicles the future?”
Working Principle of Electric Vehicle (EV)
Electric vehicles are powered by an Electric motor. The motor can be one or a combination of motors to provide better power delivery. They run by power stored in their batteries. The batteries charge by taking electricity from the grid when the vehicle is plugged into a charging point. These vehicles feel much lighter to drive than the fuel or gas powered vehicles.
Under the hood of an electric vehicle, all you will see is an electric motor, a controller and a battery pack instead of an engine. When the vehicle is in idle mode, no energy will be used. Apart from this everything else including the transmission, brakes, airbags and air conditioning system will be same as that of a fuel or gas powered vehicle.
Electric vehicle technology allows the driver to take advantage of the motor’s momentum when pressure is applied on brakes and takes use of the forward momentum on the motor to recharge the battery. This process is also known as Regenerative Braking and it has been promoted by many Automobile manufacturers in our Country including Maruti Suzuki in its most popular Mid-Size sedan, The Ciaz.
Why Electric Vehicles (EVs) are being promoted?
Electric vehicles are being promoted worldwide as the world wants to shift towards a pollution free era. An electric vehicle has a number of benefits as compared to traditional fuel or gas powered vehicles. It is a way to improve the further damages that are done to our planet Earth. The power to an electric vehicle can be sourced through renewable energy sources that are wind, solar and hydro power.
They are very much more environment friendly than the traditional fuel or gas powered vehicles as even the batteries inside these vehicles can be recycled. These vehicles do not emit harmful gases and are environment friendly. Even the Hybrid Electric vehicles have lower carbon emissions and are a little better over the traditional vehicles. These vehicles are said to promise zero tailpipe emissions.
“By choosing an electric vehicle, you choose to preserve the planet”
How is Indian Govt promoting Electric Vehicles (EVs)
The Indian Government has already laid a roadmap for the Electric Vehicles in India. The Government has created a momentum through its faster adaption and manufacturing of the Hybrid and electric vehicles in the country with a goal of reaching 30% electric vehicles by 2030.
Various incentives like the Income tax rebate of upto Rs.1,50,000 for interest payment on the loans taken to buy electric vehicles have been put in place by the government. The government is also encouraging Automobile Manufacturers to start developing their Electronic Vehicles (EVs) for the Indian market while some manufacturers have already launched their products in the Indian market.
An exemption of Custom Duties to bring down the cost of Lithium Ion batteries and its components and encourage its manufacturing in the country have already been put in place by the Government. It is believed that Indians are ready to make a shift to EVs if proper infrastructure for these vehicles are put in place by the Government.
Various state governments and local transport authorities are also serious to scale the development of EVs. The scenario of excessive pollution in Delhi seen in the last year are also encouraging the Govt Authorities to develop infrastructure for the EVs and encourage their citizens to make an early shift to the EVs.
Electric Vehicle Benefits
- Cheaper to maintain
- Cost Savings
- No Fuel required
- Less Pollution, No Engine and Cabin noise
- Better for the Environment
- Government Incentives
There are a number of advantages of an Electric Vehicle (EV) over the conventional fuel or gas powered vehicles. Among all of them, the major advantage is that these vehicles are a quite light on our pocket when it comes to maintenance or eliminating fuel costs. The cost of these vehicles can be further reduced by installing a roof top solar electricity system to charge our Electric Vehicle. Through this roof top solar system, you would be able to completely eliminate on fuel costs of your Electric Vehicle (EV).
Electric vehicles have no cabin noise and engine noise as the motors are very silent. Governments offer various incentives on these vehicles like the Indian Government offers an Income Tax Rebate as these vehicles contribute to keeping the Environment clean and free from pollution.
Types of Electric Vehicles (EV)
There are main three types of Electric Vehicles (EVs) available in the market:
- Battery Electric Vehicles
- Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles
Let us tell you what these are and the advantages and disadvantages of these types.
Battery Electric Vehicles
These are fully Electric Vehicles (EVs) that have rechargeable batteries. These are high capacity batteries in which the electricity is stored and used for running the Electric Motor. These vehicles do not emit any harmful gases or toxicants and are the most eco-friendly Electric Vehicles available in market. These vehicles are charged with an Electric Charger which can be a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 Charger.
Level 1 Charger uses a standard household socket to charge the vehicle and is mostly used in homes or workplaces. These chargers can charge most of the Electric Vehicles (EVs) available in the market.
Level 2 Charger are slightly faster than the Level 1 chargers and uses a Special High Amp Charging Socket. These are mostly found at Public charging stations.
Level 3 Chargers are the fastest chargers available in the market for an Electric Vehicle (EV). These are DC charges that can charge the battery from 0-90% in under an hour.
Some of the Battery Electric Vehicles in India include the Hyundai Kona and MG EZS.
Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
These are the vehicles which can charge the battery both though Electric Power and Regenerative Braking. Toyota Prius is a Plug in Hybrid Electric vehicle currently available in the market.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles
These are the vehicles that run on both battery and fuel. Their battery derives power from Regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is a process where the Electric Motor helps to slow the vehicle and uses the energy converted to heat by the brakes.
Maruti Suzuki has few of the Hybrid Electric vehicles available in India like the Suzuki Ciaz and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Disadvantages
Electric Vehicles tend to cover shorter distance in a full charge than the conventional Fuel vehicles. However manufacturers are working towards rectifying this and have enhanced the range covered under a single charge by a great extent by incorporating Lithium-ion-batteries in their vehicles.
Secondly, the Batteries of the Electric Vehicles (EVs) are required to be replaced after a specific interval. Lithium-ion-batteries included in Electric Vehicles (EVs) these days are expensive than the normal batteries.
The EVs being produced these days by manufacturers are 40-50% expensive than the Conventional vehicles since the technology is relatively new.
Should you buy an Electric Vehicle (EV) in 2020
Talking about Electric Vehicles (EVs) in 2020, we will say that it is relatively a new technology which is improving rapidly.
In addition to the above, Electric Vehicle Infrastructure like the EV Charging Stations are not present in our country at the moment in abundance.
However if you still want a second car, are comfortable spending 40-50% more and want a Vehicle that is future ready, you should definitely opt one as it is very low on maintenance and makes you contribute to the Environment.