Kerala on fast lane, second after Delhi in EV adoption

Of the 4.57 lakh vehicles registered in the state until August 15, a sizeable 47,329, or 10.3 per cent, are EVs.

Published: 16th August 2023 07:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2023 07:02 AM   |  A+A-

Charging Electric Vehicles

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

KOCHI: Kerala is witnessing a growing inclination towards electric vehicles (EVs), with more than 10 per cent of the new vehicle registrations in the state being EVs. Impressively, Kerala is in the second position nationwide, after Delhi, in the adoption of eco-friendly vehicles. The calculation is based on the proportion of EVs to total vehicles in states that have registered over 1 lakh vehicles this calendar year. 

Of the 4.57 lakh vehicles registered in the state until August 15, a sizeable 47,329, or 10.3 per cent, are EVs. Delhi, with a total of 3.84 lakh registrations, remains at the top with 11.3 per cent EV registrations. At 47,329 registrations, Kerala is also among the top 10 states in terms of EV registrations, ranking seventh, according to MVD data.

At this rate, EV sales in the state are set to cross half a lakh in one year for the first time. This transformation is happening at a time when 98.52 per cent of Kerala’s 1.64 crore vehicle owners are relying on conventional fuels. Last year, a total of 39,622 EVs were sold in the state. Uttar Pradesh (1.53 lakh), Maharasthra (1.14 lakh), Karnataka (92,831), Tamil Nadu (58,024), Gujarat (55,976), and Rajasthan (54,088) are the top six states with more EV registrations than Kerala this year.  Kerala’s accomplishment comes despite lower tax sops and incentives than those offered by most states to encourage EV adoption.

‘Kerala’s Electric Vehicle market gaining momentum’

While Kerala has introduced a 50 per cent reduction in road tax for hybrid and EVs for five years, states such as Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Assam, and Bihar not only provide a 100 per cent road tax waiver but also offer subsidies. Experts have attributed this shift to the proliferation of charging stations coupled with the rising cost of fuel. 

“The number of EV registrations in the state is gradually showing an upward trend. If we analyse the registration, on average, more than 5,500 EVs are registered in the state every month. Individuals are primarily motivated by concerns about fuel expenses rather than carbon emissions. In comparison to conventional fuels, EVs are economically favourable, potentially explaining the surge in EV purchases. Worries about charging stations also seem to be diminishing,” said Arun C D, motor vehicle inspector and state nodal officer of E-challan.

Anchal Rejimon I, state president of the Electric Vehicle Owners Association, envisages that by 2025, nearly half of the state’s registered vehicles will be electric. 

“Kerala’s EV market is gradually gaining momentum. Historically, only a minority embraced EVs. However, the tide has shifted as manufacturers introduce new vehicles in both four-wheeler and two-wheeler categories. Nevertheless, the expense associated with electric vehicles continues to pose a challenge for the middle class. Reports indicate that Maruti and other automakers are gearing up to launch their EVs. Once these vehicles become available at reasonable prices, the middle-class segment will contribute significantly to the EV market, potentially doubling its share in the state,” he added.

Commenting on the state’s performance, Eldo Benjamin, senior vice president (sales and marketing) at Nippon Toyota, noted that Kerala could have secured the top position if manufacturers managed to meet the soaring demand promptly. 

“Despite the considerable demand for EVs, manufacturers are grappling with a supply shortage. Numerous individuals are still waiting for their electric vehicles. If supply aligns with demand, new EV registrations in the state will be more than double,” Eldo said.

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