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35% Indians want to drive electric car, lack of range & infra keeps many from buying: Survey

Survey by CarWale also says people are postponing plans to buy a car because of Covid, but notes upward trend in online purchase of vehicles.

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New Delhi: A considerable number of people in metro and non-metro cities are willing to get an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car but have cited lack of infrastructure like charging stations, etc as the main reason for not buying them, a survey has found.

The survey was conducted by CarWale, an auto media vehicle and online automobile classifieds firm, along with the Indian Automotive Consumer Canvas supported by CEAT Tyres, IndusInd Bank and Frost & Sullivan, to understand changes in behaviour while purchasing a vehicle against the backdrop of Covid.

The survey, the report of which was released Wednesday, found that 35 per cent of the respondents, comprising over 70,000 people in metro and non-metros, expressed a willingness to get an electric vehicle as their next car. An electric vehicle (EV) operates on an electric motor, as opposed to a combustion engine that gets power by burning fuel and gas.

The survey also found people postponing their plans to buy a car because of Covid. However, it came across a sharp upward trend in online purchase of cars and a willingness to look at new models of ownership of vehicles. The survey was conducted over a duration of three weeks and sought responses from over 2 lakh people (202,334) ranging from ages 18 to 65 in metros and non-metros, from both women and men.

The survey was released during a virtual panel discussion where Shashank Srivastava, executive director (marketing & sales) at Maruti Suzuki India, Vinkesh Gulati, president of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), and Arnab Banerjee, chief operating officer of CEAT Tyres, among others, were the speakers.

Also read: Lack of this technology is a reason why there are not enough green vehicles on roads yet

The findings

The CarWale, Indian Automotive Consumer Canvas (2021) survey “mapping the road ahead for the sector” analysed how the impact of Covid-19 influenced people’s decisions to buy cars, and found that a total of 77 per cent of the respondents (over 1.5 lakh people) have decided to postpone buying a car due to the pandemic.

However, 54 per cent of the people surveyed said they were keen to buy a car now in 2021.

The survey said 35 per cent of the respondents want an e-vehicle as their next car, citing “better product options (55%), attractive technologies (39%), and affordability (31%)” as the main reasons driving this rise in demand. It, however, noted that the lack of infrastructure is a big reason that is keeping people from buying these cars.

Fifty per cent people said they won’t go for an electric vehicle, citing lack of charging stations and product options as main reasons.

According to the survey report, 60 per cent respondents showed a preference to buy vehicles online, citing better deals, convenience, transparent purchasing process and trust in vehicle manufacturers. Those not in favour of buying a vehicle online gave “inability to touch and feel the vehicle” as the main reason.

The survey also found that 18 per cent of the respondents were interested in buying pre-owned cars or opting for leasing or subscription models, while 83 per cent said they would prefer to buy a new vehicle.

Speaking about the findings of the survey, Banwari Lal Sharma, CEO of CarWale, said: “One of the most heartening aspects of the survey is the revelation of 60% of the respondents willing to go for online purchases. Today Indians are predominantly online savvy, utilising the internet for more than email or web browsing. So, it’s not surprising when 60% of them show a willingness to buy online.”

CarWale, which claims to be India’s largest auto media vehicle and online automobile classifieds firm, was founded in October 2005 and is a platform for car buyers and sellers to research, buy and sell cars.

Also read: Why buying a Tesla in India or China may not cut your carbon emissions


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