20% EV Dealers Exit Business in India: The electric revolution may not feel as effective as the government was planning for the masses as 20% of the electric vehicle dealerships closed business in the last fiscal. The number of dealerships is now limited to 860, challenging not even the decent brands having petrol-powered engines on their side.
For one clear example, Hero Motocorp, the largest Indian two-wheeler brand, has more than 6000 touch points around the country. The reason for this shutdown of electric vehicle dealerships in the increase in pricing for the products that brought a direct downfall in the number of customers in the country.
The FAME II scheme from the government has directed the brands to use Li-ion battery and many other advanced functions to keep up with the incentive policy and thus, the production cost for every product has gone up by a considerable margin. The benefits are passed on to the customer but practically, the technology is not affordable enough to manage the market in a profitable way.
The second limitation is the availability of charging stations. The least number of charging stations means less interested buyers that have uncertain travel routines. The swappable battery function may help the brands secure some customers for sure.
Almost every model in the electric industry has to undergo a considerable amount of change, starting with the replacement of battery and certifying themselves again with the ARAI. Here is what the industry leaders have to say about the process.
“This process itself generally means two to two-and-a-half months. Then, there will be few manufacturers who were earlier supplying. There were 26 or 30 models and obviously every model has to be certified but this also means a long waiting line. That, perhaps, the policymaker did not realize that they are going to almost stop the business for two months,” says Sohinder Gill, Director, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).