The electric revolution has begun to hit the mobility space in India and it won’t be long before it becomes the norm. The influx of mainstream, electric two and four wheelers has already begun and what is a trickle now will soon turn into a full-blown downpour in the coming months. If you have been mulling about being an early adopter, here’s what you need to know before getting a new electrical appliance home.
Don’t Be Sold On The Claimed Range
Like we take the ARAI-certified fuel efficiency number for our conventional vehicles with a pinch of salt, it’s the same with electric vehicles for their claimed range on a full charge. Since the claimed range number is a figure extracted under test conditions, the distance for which the battery’s juice will last before it needs a recharge will be way lesser. This number will be variable and depend on how you drive, the driving conditions, number of occupants, the amount of power used by auxiliary sources, etc, etc.
The other thing that you will have to keep in mind is that like your cellular phone, battery performance will be on the wane as the years pile on and you keep exhausting the limited recharge cycles. Before you make a purchase, check if the battery is covered under a warranty period and how many recharge cycles will it be good for.
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Know Your Charging Options
India is just waking up to the idea of large-scale electric mobility and fast charging infrastructre won’t be available everywhere. With an electric vehicle, you won’t be able to drive or ride carelessly at will and every trip will have to be planned for well in advance, as you will need to ensure that the battery has been topped up before you leave. Until the infrastructure picks up commercially, and office spaces and residential societies warm up to the idea, you will mostly be using a portable charger which will take many hours to top up the battery. Some electric two-wheeler manufacturers are also providing a network of stations where you can swap the battery for another fully charged unit in a jiffy, which spells convenience. However, it isn’t an option for electric cars until now.
These Are Still Early Days
Can you wander off to explore unknown places in your electric car? Not unless you know that the car will have enough juice left to bring you back or that there will be a charging facility there and you would have enough time for the batteries to recharge. In addition to this, a roadside mechanic wouldn’t know how to fix an electric vehicle and the sole backup you would have is the manufacturer’s RSA service. Make sure your purchase gives you that. You might need help even inside the city if there’s a breakdown.
It’s A Step Backwards
Can an electric vehicle become your primary vehicle as of now? Well, if you’re someone who only uses a car or a two wheeler to travel a set route and a fixed distance every day, it can. But if you need to use your vehicle for an emergency or an unplanned trip, you will still have to fall back on a conventional vehicle if you haven’t got enough juice in those batteries. It will take some time before these kind of vehicles can allow you to be careless, free and just drive or ride out at will to any place where your mind wants your body to be. So in that sense, it’s a step backwards as it takes away the freedom and carelessness we associate with mobility.
Weigh The Pros & Cons
The Government has already announced some and will announce more sops in the future for those who purchase an electric vehicle. These will then be boosted by lending institutions on a secondary level and there will also be some social brownie points that you would earn. Needless to say, you will also contribute to the Planet by driving a vehicle which does not pollute. For all this though, are you ready to give up on the perks and conveniences of conventional mobility? Or would you rather wait until these all-electric things catch up with existing levels of practicality? Those two questions are important.