Air pollution has begun to trump technology as main driver of the shift to e-mobility— an indication that EVs might finally be going mainstream

Personal transport in India might be poised for a monumental shift, according to a survey conducted by Clean Mobility Shift. The survey, carried out to gauge consumer mindset when it comes to the purchase of four-wheelers, sampled responses from nearly 500 current and prospective car owners from over 50 cities in the country on driving habits and their rationale when it comes to their choice of vehicles. Interestingly, while 79% of the respondents had bought a petrol or diesel vehicle recently, over 60% stated that they plan to buy a semi- or fully electric car in the future.

Among those that have already made the jump to EVs, there is broad consensus that EVs perform better than conventional ICE vehicles across the board. The early adopters cited environmental considerations (59%) and excitement with the new technology (52%) as the biggest reasons for choosing an EV over an ICE vehicle. Contrary to popular belief of a uniformly poor charging network across the country, over two-thirds of the respondents reported sufficient charging points in their cities.

In an interesting deviation from the early adopters, respondents who are looking to buy an electric vehicle in the near future cited air pollution as the primary driver of their decision rather than interest in the technology. While most believed EVs performed better across the board in comparison to ICE vehicles, some respondents also expressed doubts when it comes to resale value and vehicle pick-up.

Further, while a total of 51% of respondents rejected EVs currently, a majority still rated EVs higher in most variables on the comparison matrix of factors influencing vehicle choice. According to those choosing to stick to ICE vehicles for the time being, unreliability for long distance travel and frequent charging hassles are the two biggest perceptions that have held back a shift to electric vehicles.