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Looking To Buy An EV?Everything You Need To Know

Feeling guilty about your contribution to the rising carbon footprint? Fancy jumping on the ‘Go-Green’ bandwagon? Well, electric vehicles (EVs) are definitely one way to go about it. EVs are no longer just a hope for the future, they are here right now and on the cusp of a revolution. As is the case with anything new, the fear of the unknown is real. To allay those fears and help you make an informed decision, here is our comprehensive primer on EVs. The technology, why it is better, challenges, global picture, and a journey through the history books—we have it all covered. It is everything you need to know about EVs.

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6 ReasonsWhy EVs Are Loved

  • six_res1
    Key to reduce Carbon footprint & Urban pollution
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    Lot easier to maintain & own
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    Deliver all the torque immediately
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    Can be upgraded just like your phone
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    Only going to get cheaper
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    It doesn’t get quicker than EVs

The technologybehind EVs

The electric motor is located at the axle. For EVs that have all-wheel drive, there will be two motors. One at the front axle and the other at the back axle.
Battery pack
Located in the bottom, looks more like a huge phone battery and runs horizontal. This helps keep the car’s center of gravity low. This powers the electric motor.
Regenerative Breaking
Every time you slow down, the kinetic energy is converted into chemical energy and is stored in the battery. The energy that would otherwise be lost to the disc brakes as heat is recovered, to be stored and used later.
The vehicle can be charged either using an AC outlet or a DC charger. AC charging takes time and is what will most likely be installed at homes. DC chargers offer superfast charging and can charge up to 80% under an hour.

How ToMaintain an EV

There’s no engine oil to change, in fact no engine to maintain at all. Also, fewer moving parts, no belt or chain to be serviced, no transmission fluid to be changed, no clogged-up valves or burnt clutch plate and no sweat over emission tests. So, what does maintaining an EV entail?

Battery Maintenance
Batteries have a limited life cycle, which can be prolonged with efficient management and timely charging. On an average, batteries are good for 1,60,000 kms. Contrary to conventional wisdom, car batteries are more resistant to damage than the lithium-ion batteries powering our phones. Carmakers typically offer a warranty of over 8 years, or 1.6 lakh kms. Never leave an EV uncharged if battery level reaches 10%. Apart from being drained, lithium-ion batteries can be damaged if left uncharged. It’s best not to charge it all the way to 100% (certainly not with a fast charger). Charge only until 90%. Batteries can lose charge when a car faces really low temperature, so it’s best to find a relatively temperate spot for parking. Best to rely on an A/C charger at home.
EV tyres are prone to marginally greater levels of wear and tear given that the EVs weigh more than internal-combustion cars, thanks to the weight of the batteries, which are placed horizontally across the car’s floor. Low tyre pressure can also reduce an EVs range by 3% (according to the Royal Automobile Club).
EVs are equipped with regenerative braking, which uses the electric motor to slow the vehicle. This reduces the load on the brakes and as a corollary, lowers the level of wear and tear of the brake disc and creating less brake dust. Regenerative braking also allows a vehicle to use excess kinetic energy, and use it to put some charge back into the battery.
It’s advisable to take your EV in for an occasional service, but it needn’t be as frequent as with an internal combustion car. What largely needs to be changed is brake fluid and perhaps the windscreen wipers. If the service centre caters primarily to ICE vehicles, ensure that a technician proficient with EVs is present.
Towing an EV
In the unlikely event of a breakdown, understand that no amount of pushing will get your EV back to life if the battery has been totally depleted. The EV must be towed, in which case it’s important to ensure that the drive wheels are kept off the road and are not rolling. For example, if an electric motor is powering the front axle, make sure that it’s the rear wheels that are in contact with the road. In case both axles have an electric motor, make sure that your car is placed on a flatbed and then driven to the nearest charging point.

the cost calculatorElectric Car vs Traditional Car

Input the values in the boxes with ‘*’ to calculate the running cost of an electric car as compared to a traditional car

Distance travelled*
Traditional Car
Mileage of Petrol/Diesel vehicle*
Fuel Price (Petrol/Diesel)*
Running Cost per km
Running cost for Total Distance
Electric Car
EV Range on Full charge*
Battery Capacity*
in kWh
Electricity Rate per Unit*
Running Cost per km
Running cost for Total Distance


How long does it take to charge an EV?
The Tata Nexon EV supports fast charging and can reach 80% capacity in 60 mins. The MG ZS EV does the same in just 50 mins. On the higher end, the Mercedes Benz EQC and Jaguar E-Pace Hybrid can hit 80% capacity in 30 mins when charging at a rapid charging station. Ola has announced a Hypercharger network for its two-wheelers which can charge 50% in just 18 minutes for a 75 km range.
How do you charge your EV?
You can charge using your at-home facility or at charging stations. Standard and fast charging stations are available. You can also charge your electric car or scooter at dedicated charging facilities set up by the manufacturers or at public charging stations.
Would EV charging stations be hard to find?
Manufacturers have dedicated charging stations in cities. The government is also helping. Public charging stations are being set up. As per Central Electric Authority report, there are 933 electric charging stations for two-wheelers and four-wheelers in India. The Department of Heavy Industry is also setting up stations under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) Scheme. It envisages one public charging station at every 25 km on both sides of highways and one Fast Charging Station for long-range Electric Vehicles at every 100 km.
What distance can you travel on EVs?
EVs today support a long driving range. The Hyundai Kona can go up to 452 kms on a full charge, Tata Nexon EV 312 kms, Mercedes-Benz EQC 770 kms while the MG ZS EV can do 340 kms.
Is maintenance cost for electric cars lower than petrol/diesel cars?
According to a report by Consumer Reports, EV owners can save as much as 50% in repairing and servicing costs. The amount of electricity needed to drive your EV for a range of 100 km is much lesser than the fuel cost to drive the same on a petrol/diesel car. With fuel prices reaching record highs in India, this cost is only expected to increase. EVs have fewer moving parts than internal combustion powered vehicles, which means smaller bills due to wear and tear.




Watch: How localising battery manufacturing can change the EV game | The Drive Report Ep 4

Localised electric vehicle battery manufacturing may in fact be the only way to realise India’s EV market potential and help the government meet its target of 30% private EV sales by 2030. Currently, both EV batteries and cells are imported and account for about 40-50% of the EV’s total cost. Manufacturing the lithium-ion cells to make the batteries in India would make them cheaper, faster, and allow for large-scale manufacturing! In fact, even Tesla’s Elon Musk recently announced plans to halve battery costs through in-house battery cell engineering! Watch this episode of Drive Report to understand how manufacturing batteries in India will completely change the EV game!

TheGlobal EV leaders

EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
EV & Plug-in Hybrid Sales (2020)
Norway has the highest market penetration with EVs amounting to 74.7%
Netherlands leads in public charging stations per car (5 cars per station)
Sweden has the highest number of EVs per population (one for every 52 members of the population)

TracingThe EV Journey

The road to electrification has been long and bumpy.Contrary to popular belief, the electric car is not a recent invention and predates the internal combustion car by nearly 50 years. Here’s a look at the rise, decline and revival of EVs.


First motorised electric carriage is built. While the actual year is disputed, a Scotsman named Robert Anderson is credited with creating the first crude electric vehicle while another Scotsman named Robert Davidson built a prototype electric locomotive in 1837. Capable of towing 6 tons, it had non-rechargeable batteries and a severely limited range of 3 km. Rechargeable ones wouldn’t be invented until 1859.


‘Electrobat’, first commercial electric car comes out. Top Speed – 36kph | Range – 40km. It goes on to serve as a cab. US President Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to take a ride in the car.


Belgian builder Camille Jenatzy builds the first EV to break the 100kph speed barrier.


Ferdinand Porsche builds the first hybrid electric car.


Ford Model T arrives and alters the course of history. It is the first mass produced internal combustion car. Costs half as much as an EV and is resistant to extreme heat and Detroit’s chilly winters. By 1912, costs about $300, a fraction of EVs.


Fossil fuel powered cars completely outclasses EVs.


By the end of WWII, EV makers had either gone bust or converted to fossil fuel.


Henney Kilowatt is produced. Of the 100 produced, only 47 were sold.


General Motors comes out with Electrovair II. But its batteries could only last 100 recharge cycles. A new pack at the time would cost $1,60,000. A Lamborghini 350GT at the time would only cost $5,480.


NASA’s Apollo 15 lunar mission required the use of a car/rover on the moon. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is produced. It is popularly called the ‘Moon Buggy’.


The 70s fuel prices skyrocket due to an OPEC-imposed oil embargo. EVs were once again in focus and the Sebring-Vanguard Citicar and Comuta car became popular. The latter became the largest electric car produced in the US; a record beaten by Tesla in 2013.


Chevrolet comes out with the Electrovette. But after fuel prices dipped, eVette’s low range, low speed and outdated battery tech led to its undoing.


Chetan Maini’s Reva Electric is set up.


GM produces the EV1m the first mass-produced and purpose-designed electric vehicle of the modern era.


Toyota Prius arrives.


Reva-I, also called G-Wiz in European markets is launched. It is India’s first production EV and the world’s first, truly affordable EV.s


After failing to convince AC Propulsion to put its fast-accelerating prototype ‘Tzero’ into production, Martin Eberhard and Elon Musk join forces and use the tech under license to form a little-known brand called Tesla Motors.


Tesla Roadster is launched. It becomes the first lithium-ion battery powered production EV and the first EV to cover 320km on a single charge.


EV startups like Rivian and Rimac are launched. Rimac goes on to produce the Rimac One – the fastest production electric vehicle. Rimac Two hits 0-100kph in 1.9 secs.


Nissan Leaf is launched.


Tesla Model S revolutionises the EV market with its mix of space, performance and long-distance driving capabilities.


BMW i3 is launched.


Chevrolet re-enters the EV market with Bolt. Tesla launches Model 3.


Elon Musk debuts the Tesla Cybertruck concept.


Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW announce plans to go all-electric by the end of the decade.


Toyota plans to launch EV featuring new technology called ‘solid-state batteries’ by 2024.


Why EVs got replacedin the 1900s


Electricity was not readily accessible as it is today. Only few cities in the US had access to electricity at the time. Hence, electric cars were not a viable option for many.


EVs at the time were mostly used for short distances. As road infrastructure got better, the need for long distance drives became a necessity which EVs at the time could not meet.

Gas Price

After the discovery of Texas crude oil, gasoline prices plummeted making it affordable to the average consumer. This led to cheaper operating costs.

Gas Price
Ford Model T & The Electric Starter

Henry Ford made car buying cheaper with the introduction of the Ford Model T which cost a fraction of what EVs cost at the time. That, along with the invention of the electric starter meant gasoline cars were easier to operate.

ford model t

Following the dip in oil price, gasoline cars started getting cheaper. By 1912, the price gap between gasoline cars and EV widened. Al electric roadster in 1912 sold for $1750 while a gasoline car cost just $650. Ford cars were also available in the $500 - $1000 range.

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Metals onthe Rise

Source: Bloomberg

2019 – 2030 Demand growth in the EV industry

Copper, nickel and lithium are some of the key metals used in EV battery production

The demand for EVs is driving the demand for metals, with more and more manufacturers joining the EV bandwagon

Nickel 14x
Aluminium 14x
Phosphorous 13x
Iron 13x
Copper 10x
Graphite 10x
Lithium 9x
Cobalt 3x
Manganese 3x
metals car

Wright’s predictionon battery costs

According to Wright’s Law, lithium-ion battery costs fall by 28% for every cumulative doubling of units produced. The battery pack is the most expensive component of an EV. Thus, the sticker prices of EVs fall as battery costs decline. Some EVs are already cheaper to own and operate than comparable gasoline powered cars due to the cost saved from fuel, maintenance, and resale value

*MWh is 1,000 kWh.
*Forecasts are inherently limited and cannot be relied upon
Source: Bloomberg
Global EnergyWhere We Are Today

Days to the end of natural gas


Days to the end of oil


Days to the end of coal


Volvo readies EV blitz in biggest product revamp under Geely

The Swedish carmaker, wholly owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, is expected to launch at least six new battery electric vehicles through 2026, the two people told Reuters.