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    HomeNewsHybrids Bridge the Gap on Road to Electric Vehicles in India 

    Hybrids Bridge the Gap on Road to Electric Vehicles in India 

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    Amritsar: Electric cars were once seen as the unstoppable future of the automobile industry. However, a recent trend towards hybrid vehicles has emerged, especially in markets like India. This article explores why hybrids are gaining ground and their potential role in transitioning to electric cars. 

    Slowdown for Electric Cars 

    Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) witnessed a significant slowdown in 2023, with hybrids unexpectedly posing a challenge. Globally, the penetration rate of hybrids reached 11%, nearly neck-and-neck, with EVs at 12%. In the US, hybrids even outsold EVs in 2023. 

    Why Hybrids are Appealing 

    Several factors contribute to the rise of hybrids: 

    • Range Anxiety:  Concerns about limited range and lack of charging infrastructure continue to deter many consumers from EVs. Hybrids offer a gasoline engine as a backup, addressing this anxiety. 
    • Higher Costs:  The cost of EVs remains a barrier for many buyers. Hybrids, although less eco-friendly, offer a more affordable alternative. 
    • Government Incentives:  In India, government subsidies only support electric two- and three-wheelers, not electric cars. Hybrids, however, fall under a lower tax bracket than traditional gasoline vehicles. 

    India’s Unique Scenario 

    India’s electric car market share is a mere 2% compared to the global average of 12%. Building affordable, small electric cars for the Indian market is still a technological hurdle. Hybrids present a viable interim solution. 

    Maruti Suzuki Leads the Charge 

    Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car manufacturer, strongly advocates hybrids as a bridge to EVs. They are working on more fuel-efficient hybrid models and plan to introduce them in smaller, cheaper segments. 

    A Look Ahead 

    The Indian government’s initial target of 30% electric car penetration by 2030 will likely be revised downwards, with estimates ranging from 15% to 23%. Hybrids are expected to fill the gap, potentially reaching a penetration rate of 9% to 11% by 2030. 

    Challenges and the Road Ahead 

    Critics argue that India’s coal-powered charging infrastructure would negate the environmental benefits of EVs. Additionally, some studies suggest that electric car adoption might not significantly reduce carbon emissions shortly. 

    The Future of Mobility 

    Hybrids offer a practical stepping stone towards widespread EV adoption in India. A reduction in GST on hybrids, as proposed by the government, could further incentivize their purchase. However, long-term solutions like renewable energy sources for charging stations and technological advancements in affordable electric cars are crucial for a sustainable future. 

     

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