Bengaluru: Despite an increased demand for electric vehicles, the sales remain low due to delayed delivery by manufacturers.
Melvin Wilson, secretary at Ather Energy, an EV manufacturer, said: “Sales of electric vehicles have increased by three times as compared to the past five months. Neither we nor the raw material suppliers have increased prices as for now; we aim to increase sales.”
Delayed deliveries by manufacturers affect the operational cycle and working capital of electric vehicle suppliers, making it difficult for them to fulfill the customers’ demands on time.
Vinod M.R., a sales executive at VFM EV, Richmond Road, said: “For the past three months, the demand for electric vehicles has increased by around 45%. But due to a delay in receiving vehicles by around one and half months…, we are unable to fulfill our customers’ demands on time.”
Mohan Raju, a dealer at PURE EV, Dr Shivaram Karanth Nagar, said: “The demand for electric vehicles has increased by 25-30% in the past four months. However, delays in the delivery of vehicles by the manufacturers affect our sales. The delivery of vehicles gets delayed by 45-50 days after placing the order, causing unfulfilled demand. Customers don’t wait for so long and shift to another seller.”
Apart from this, “we don’t receive the colour we placed (an order for). Hence, we can’t take orders in advance as there is no certainty in receiving the same vehicles we ordered.”
B. S. Javid, another electric vehicle dealer said: “We don’t have enough stock. Therefore, we can’t sell vehicles as and when they are demanded. We have to make a payment within 25-30 days, whereas manufacturers deliver the vehicles ordered after around two months, causing difficulties in managing the working capital. Owing to this, we are unable to fulfill the demand by the customers on time.”
According to transport department data, Bangalore has a total of 85.6 lakh registered vehicles, out of which, only 14,579 are e-vehicles. People blame the inefficiencies of Bescom and the government for the low usage of electric vehicles.
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Jyothi Madesh, who owns a vehicle that runs on petrol, said: “Due to few charging stations — most of them established at Bescom offices — we have to travel a lot to charge vehicles. This increases the risk of getting stuck midway as the battery drains, reducing the willingness (of people) to buy electric vehicles. Also, a few charging points at Bescom are faulty. The government should ensure all of them are in a working condition.”
Vijay R.T., another owner of a petrol vehicle, said: “Once charging stations are established on highways, more people will turn to electric cars. The absence of charging stations on highways constrains people from buying electric vehicles.”
Karnataka was the first state to introduce an e-vehicle policy. It has set a goal to convert the existing motorfuel-run vehicles into e-vehicles by 2030. Now, due to increased fuel prices, and a rise in the demand for e-vehicles, Bescom officials hope that electric vehicle sales will increase in the near future.
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C.K. Sreenath, deputy general manager at Smart Grid and Electric Vehicles, Bescom, said: “Bescom has installed 136 charging units at around 70 locations and is aiming to install more charging stations at different places. It charges at Rs 7-8 per unit, whereas using motorfuel-based vehicles is costlier. We plan to establish charging station every 5 km in the city…”.
Rising prices of motorfuels, awareness drives by the government, and improved charging infrastructure have encouraged more people to buy e-vehicles.