We recently reported that hybrid vehicles are growing faster than pure electric cars in India. That is correct, and we explained the reasons for faster hybrid car sales growth compared to electric vehicles. But there is one state where EV adoption is growing faster than all the rest – Kerala. As per a recent report, buys more EVs than any other state, percentage-wise. Here, we explore the reasons why this is happening.
The demand for electric vehicles in Kerala has actually surprised car manufacturers like Tata and MG. According to the report, 13.2 percent of total car sales in Kerala went to EVs last year, just below Maharashtra at 16.9%.
Apartment living is still a new thing in Kerala. Most of the population lives in houses that are already electrified. This means that almost all the EV buyers can charge their cars at home overnight. This is the simplest way to charge a car today – not relying on public charging points. Get back home from work, plug in the car, and by morning the EV is fully charged and ready to go. This convenience is not available to most states either due to lack of electrification or unreliable electricity availability, or apartment living where many have still not installed charging points for residents.
Short driving distances
Most of the electric cars sold in the Indian market offer at least a 200 km range with fully charged batteries. The average running of most customers in Kerala is within this range. To go work and get back, many never have to drive more than 20 kilometers or so. While driving is slow in Kerala, distances are not much either. This means that a car can often be charged once in 3 or 4 days!
For longer drives, they opt for ICE cars or even rely on public charging stations which are also not too difficult to find in Kerala.
When driving to visit relatives, functions such as weddings or celebrations or on journeys to hometowns, mostly the distances to cover are well within 200 kilometers. And in those cases, EV owners can charge their cars there if they have the portable chargers with them.
High fuel prices
Another reason why we feel EVs are gaining popularity in Kerala is because of the relatively higher fuel pricing. While many Indian states have petrol prices under Rs 100, it is still around Rs 107-108 depending on the region in Kerala. This higher pricing has also forced many people to look for alternative options to make their drives economical.
Even if you are a person who is planning to take their electric car on a road trip within Kerala, most tourist spots are nearby. For example, the distance from Kerala’s Kochi to Munnar, which is a popular hill station, is only 126 km. This is doable in a modern-day electric car on a single charge at home. If you want to travel from Kochi to Trivandrum, the distance is around 206 km. If you want, you can cover this distance without stopping for a break, or else if you are not confident about the range, you can always stop and charge the vehicle at a nearby fast charger.
Getting stranded is difficult
Even if your car runs out of fuel, you won’t be stranded in the middle of nowhere as the population density in Kerala is higher. This means that there are very few really empty stretches with no population or facilities. So if you can’t reach a charging station, you can stop a bit early, and request people in the houses or shops nearby to charge your vehicle for some time and get a few kilometers of driving range (if you have the portable charger). Then you hit your destination, or a fast public charger, and you can carry on. People do not have to do this often, but they know that they are not going to get stranded on a lonely stretch of road and this gives him additional confidence in purchasing an electric car.
Other than this, the cost of maintenance and running costs of these electric vehicles are very low compared to ICE vehicles. We feel these are some of the reasons why we are seeing a rise in the number of electric vehicle owners in Kerala. If you feel we have missed out on any points, do let us know in the comment section.
The post Kerala Adopting Electric Vehicles Faster Than Other Indian States: What Are The Reasons? first appeared on Cartoq.