There have been several electric scooters launched in India this year and one electric car so far. And there is more to come. Is the future of automobiles here and now?
It seems that the electric vehicle wave has finally hit India. While debates about India’s readiness for electric wheels are still quite the hot topic in forums and over beers, manufacturers are playing their part in taking the huge leap. Let’s take a recap of all the electric vehicle launches in the year so far.
1.) Avan Motors Trend E: At the time of its launch in March, the Avan Motors Trend E was priced at Rs 56,900 (ex-showroom) and Rs 81,269 for the dual battery version. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the Trend E has a riding range of 60km and a top speed of 45km/h. That being said, with the second battery hooked in, the range increases to a more usable 110km without a change in the top-speed. While the range anxiety remains in the single battery version, thankfully it takes just 2-4 hours to charge the battery fully.
2.) Ampere Zeal: The e-mobility division of Greaves Cotton, Ampere Vehicles brought in their electric scooter Zeal in May. Launched at Rs 66,950 (ex-showroom Bengaluru), the Zeal reaps a benefit of Rs 18,000 under the FAME II scheme. The scooter has a top-speed of 55km/h and a range of 75km. According to the company, charging the fully should take 5.5 hours. The Zeal gets LED headlights, a dual-speed mode – economy and power, and an anti-theft alarm. The Zeal sits on telescopic forks up front and a twin shock at the rear. Braking duties are performed by drum brakes at both ends and assisted by CBS.
3.) Hyundai Kona Electric: Electric mobility in India is no longer just about scooters and two-wheelers. Hyundai has just brought in the Kona Electric to India at Rs 25.30 lakh (ex-showroom) and it is possibly the most usable electric vehicle you can find in the market today. With a claimed driving range of 452km, the Kona electric SUV puts all your range anxiety to rest and can very much be your daily driver.
4.) Ather Energy: While there are no new products launched from Ather since their introduction last year, they have now expanded into Chennai. Of all the electric two-wheeler manufacturers, Ather Energy seems to have a well thought of plan and approach to electric mobility. Along with their expansion into new cities, the company is also setting up the Ather branded charging stations at different locations across the city.
And it isn’t just about these few launches. There are quite a few to come in the second half of the year too. Here’s a look…
1.) Revolt RV400: Subsequent to the official unveiling of the Revolt RV400 in June, bookings for the motorcycle have now begun on Amazon India. Customers can book it for a minimum token amount of Rs 1,000. While complete details of the motorcycle have still not been revealed, Revolt RV400 will have an ARAI rated riding range of 156km and a claimed top-speed of 85km/h. Interestingly, Revolt will also give customers the option to swap their drained batteries at their Mobile Swap Stations. Revolt will bring in the RV400 on 22nd July. Expect it to be priced around the Rs 1 lakh mark.
2.) 22Kymco iFlow: Last month, 22Kymco unveiled to the press and public three products that will be introduced in September this year including the iFlow electric scooter. The scooter was first seen at the Auto Expo last year and has now been launched at Rs 90,000 on road. Deliveries should commence in September. The iFlow gets full LED lighting – for the headlamp, taillamp as well as the indicators, a digital instrument cluster with Bluetooth and a Geo-fencing feature for tracking the location of your scooter. The scooter is powered by portable lithium-ion batteries that can be fully charged in just an hour. Funnily, these batteries will not be sold along with the scooter. In fact, they will be leased at a monthly charge of Rs 500 for one and Rs 1,000 for two. Further, customers will be charged a nominal fee of Rs 50 for every battery swap.
3.) MG Motor eZS: MG Motor took the wraps off its eZS electric SUV earlier this year. Based on the ZS that is on sale in the international market, the eZS gets a 150hp battery that gives it a long driving range of 335km. Just like the Hector, this car too will sport the iSMART Next-Gen feature. Expect MG Motor to being the eZS to India in towards the end of the year.
4.) Audi e-tron: Just a few weeks back Audi gave us a closer look at the e-tron and confirmed its launch towards the end of the year. The 95kW battery of the e-tron powers two motors – one up front and one on the rear axle – pushing 168bhp and 188bhp respectively. For those who want more power, the ‘over-boost’ function will add another 46 horses. Audi claims that nearly 80 percent of the battery can be charged in 30 minutes. When launched, the Audi e-tron will easily be the most technologically advanced electric vehicle on sale in India.
While there is no doubt that India is still quite far away from full electrification, it is good to see the government show its support to the shift. Earlier this year in April, the second phase of the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles) kicked off. As part of it, the government announced a budget of Rs 10,000 crore for subsidy and infrastructure development for EVs. While some points under the FAME scheme are debatable, there is no denying that such initiatives will aid growth of the EV sector in India. In fact, the recently announced Union Budget also gives electric vehicle users some lucrative benefits. With the government finally giving electric vehicle the push that they need, it will be interesting to see how customers warm up to electric vehicles.