Long-range or short-range: Which electric cars to choose from?

When it comes to internal combustion engine-powered vehicles, mileage is a key factor that plays important role in buying decisions for the consumers. Similarly, for electric vehicles, the driving range is an important factor to influence the buying decisions of consumers. The general consumer perception is the more range an electric vehicle delivers better it is. However, that might not be the case in reality.

The bigger the battery pack is the vehicle becomes pricier. (Photo - Sabyasachi Dasgupta)
The bigger the battery pack is the vehicle becomes pricier. (Photo - Sabyasachi Dasgupta)

Also Read : It's official: Delhi govt releases order to switch to EVs

Just like the conventional fuel-powered ICE vehicles don’t deliver the claimed fuel efficiency of the respective automakers, the electric vehicles too don’t deliver the range the automakers claim. Generally, for the ICE vehicles, it has been proven that fuel efficiency is better on highways instead of cities, as the bumper-to-bumper traffic condition in cities actually results in burning more fuel as the drivers or riders have to apply brakes and clutch more frequently than on highways.

Electric vehicles on the other hand are completely opposite. The EVs return a slightly higher mileage in the city traffic and lower on the highways, as the electric vehicles apply brake energy recuperation technology in the city’s bumper-to-bumper traffic condition where braking is more frequent than highway driving.

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Apart from the range issue, the lack of a well-developed EV charging infrastructure is another major hurdle the OEMs, the green car owners often face. The charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in cities is being addressed by several stakeholders of the ecosystem, while the scarcity of such infrastructure on highways is still a big concern.

Hence, which electric vehicles a buyer should choose?

One thing has to be kept in mind while making the buying decision and selecting the electric vehicle model. The more the range on offer being claimed by the OEM, the bigger the battery pack and the more expensive the vehicle is.

The majority of the personal vehicle owners drive or ride their vehicles in and around the cities with an average daily distance of sub-100 kilometres. Therefore, a vehicle with a smaller battery pack offering a 200-kilometre range is more practical than buying a vehicle offering 500-kilometre odd numbers as a range. This also keeps the price more affordable for buyers.

Hence, promoting such electric vehicles would surely drive the electric vehicle EV penetration in the Indian market that still highly price sensitive.

First Published Date: 26 Feb 2021, 13:15 PM IST
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