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    “Despite an ambitious target set by the Government and concerted efforts launched by the industry, EV adoption in India is still at a slow pace. The market has abundant choices of the product and the charging infrastructure is also improving. What is required is better awareness. We do a comparative analysis of different types electric vehicles available in the country.”

    The Government launched the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan in 2013 with the objective of achieving national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles. Though the ambitious target of the NEMMP, to put 6-7 million e-vehicles on roads by 2020, is still a far cry, the sale of such vehicles is constantly on the rise. With a total sale of 1.56 lakh units (excluding e-rickshaws), the EVs witnessed a growth of 20 per cent in 2019-20 and the number is set to soar significantly over the coming years.

    With the Government and the industry making all-out efforts to improve the charging infrastructure and more and more players foraying into EV manufacturing, it won’t be long before the e-mobility scene gets buoyant. Since there are already a variety of electric vehicles in the market – from electric cars, e-bikes and e-buses to e-rickshaws and more – it becomes essential to differentiate between these as per their built.

    • Since there are already a variety of electric vehicles in the market – from electric cars, e-bikes and e-buses to e-rickshaws and more – it becomes essential to differentiate between these as per their built.
    • In HEVs, the electric motor starts off the vehicle and as the load and speed increases, the petrol engine takes over. Both the motors are controlled by an internal computer.
    • PHEV recharges the battery by two methods; one is through regenerative braking and the other by plugging in to an external charging station.
    • BEVs, or EVs as they are more commonly known as, boast of full-size batteries that are charged by plugging-in. BEVs do not emit any harmful emissions and hazards.

    Keeping in mind the energy source provided, there are broadly three types of electric vehicles in India:

    Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs): As the name suggests, HEVs are a combination of both conventional source i.e. petrol & diesel and sustainable source i.e. electricity. The electrical energy is produced by the car’s own braking system to recharge the battery. Known as ‘regenerative braking’, a process where the electric motor helps to slow the vehicle and uses some of the energy normally converted to heat by the brakes.

    EVs, the electric motor starts off the vehicle and as the load and speed increases, the petrol engine takes over. Both the motors are controlled by an internal computer which ensures the best economy for the driving conditions. Some examples of hybrid cars already on the road are Honda Accord Hybrid, Maruti Ciaz Hybrid and MG Motors’ Hector Hybrid.

    Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV): These vehicles are powered by both electricity and petrol and are also known as Extended-Range Electric Vehicles (EREVs). PHEV recharges the battery by two methods; one is through regenerative braking and the other by plugging in to an external charging station. The emission is zero during the electric mode but it is similar to the other Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)-run vehicles in ICE mode. PHEVs are more suitable for city drives. Some of the known brands in this category are Chevrolet (Volt), Mitsubishi (Outlander PHEV) and Toyota Prius.

    Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are fully electric vehicles being completely powered by electricity. Such vehicles are readily available in the market and are gaining sales momentum as well. BEVs, or EVs as they are more commonly known as, boast of full-size batteries that are charged by plugging-in. BEVs do not emit any harmful emissions and hazards caused by traditional fuel-powered vehicles. A few examples of such vehicles are Mahindra eVerito, Tata Tigor and Hyundai Kona, which is the latest offering from the Korean automobile giant.

    Because of the plenty of choices available in the market, owning an electric vehicle should be the ideal decision as they lead to huge fuel savings and reduced environmental impact. However, people are still sceptical of buying an EV because of the inadequate charging infrastructure available in the country. It becomes crucial, therefore, for both, the automobile industry as well as the Government, to join hands and spread awareness about the multiple benefits of buying an electric vehicle. With improved infrastructure, abundant choices and better awareness comes the guarantee of EVs being extensively accepted by the masses.

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