India has seen a lot of small electric cars on our roads and the future is poised to see many more models from manufacturers such as Mahindra, Tata , BMW , MG, Audi and Hyundai. There are many concerns about small electric cars in India due to the lack of infrastructure, high cost of electricity and discouraging policies regarding electric vehicles from the government. Still, it is a very good possibility that we will move to full electrification of our cars in the near future.
Every manufacturer in the country is looking to add electric cars to their portfolio. With fuel prices at an all-time high, the switch to small electric cars in India seems inevitable. Another benefit is that electric cars have almost zero maintenance. No need for expensive oil changes and engine overhauls.
Perhaps the most compelling reason for switching to electric cars is their contribution to a cleaner and greener environment. Small electric cars produce no emissions and are environmentally friendly because they do not cause noise pollution either. They can silently glide their way into India’s automotive future.
Small electric cars in India
The future is ready for electric cars. Small electric cars in India will contribute to a cleaner planet with zero emissions and no pollution. Electric vehicles provide eco-friendly transportation.
For the uninitiated, buying an electric car can be a difficult task given the unfamiliar terms of an EV like battery pack, driving range and charging times. The initial cost of the vehicle and the charging times may be the two most important factors that buyers look for when purchasing an electric car.
Here is a list of small electric cars available in India currently.
Storm R3 Electric Car
The Storm R3 electric car, or rather a reverse trike, is the first electric car and flagship product of start-up company Storm Motors based in Mumbai. The reverse trike configuration consists of two wheels in front and one wheel at the rear.
It has been specifically designed to have compact dimensions to be driven in urban cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. The Storm R3 has two doors and can seat two to three people including the driver.
In terms of power, the Storm R3 makes 17.4 BHP of power and 48 Nm of torque from a 13-kWh battery pack. Transmission is handled by a single speed planetary unit for high efficiency at low speeds. Top speed is 80 km/h
Range of the vehicle is 110 km and DC fast charging takes 90 to 120 minutes up to 80% capacity.
The Storm R3 is described as an all-electric personal mobility vehicle and Storm Motors will be producing this model in limited numbers.
Pre-bookings have opened up for the vehicle and Storm Motors states that they have already received $1 million in orders, which looks quite promising. The all-electric vehicle comes with a price tag of Rs.4.5 – 5 Lakh making it the cheapest and most affordable electric vehicle on the market in India.
Storm Motors have stated that the R3 is aimed at working professionals, fleet owners and small families expecting in-city mobility over a radius of 10 km. The Storm R3 has filed patents for its proprietary vehicle control unit (VCU) and is ARAI certified.
Another novel feature is that the 48-volt battery pack can be installed in a UPS or battery backup system for a second life after it has completed its tenure in the car.
After the launch of the Mahindra eVerito electric sedan, Mahindra’s first electric car, they launched the e2o Plus electric hatchback as their second electric vehicle offering. Mahindra is planning to release two new electric vehicles into the market, namely the eKUV100 and the XUV300 electric SUV.
The Mahindra e2o has a tall boy design, very similar to the Maruti Suzuki WagonR and receives power from a 210 AH Li-ion battery (10.08 kWh) pack producing 25 BHP @ 3000 rpm of power and 70 Nm of peak torque @ 1000 rpm. Acceleration is fairly good with 0-60 km/h coming up in 10 seconds and top speed is a stable 80 km/h.
The e2o Plus has LED projector headlights, LED tail lamps and a newly designed front grille. It has a spacious cabin that can seat 4 comfortably and 135 litres of boot space for luggage.
In terms of features the Mahindra e2o is packed with the latest digital instrument cluster, power windows, reverse camera, electric mirrors, keyless start/stop and smartphone connectivity and power steering.
On fast charging the battery takes 90 minutes to charge from 0-80%. Driving range is an impressive 110 km. Price range is 8.8 -9.5 lakhs.
The Tata Tigor electric sedan is the second electric vehicle offering after the Tata Nexon EV. As far as design and styling goes, it is identical to the Tata Tigor ICE but it gets projector headlamps, electric mirrors and height adjustable driver’s seat. The rear design is accentuated with a high stop lamp and LED rear lights making the car a good looker all round.
The Tata Tigor comes in three variants namely, XE+, XM+ and XT+. Prices are in the range of 9.4 – 13 lakhs. The Tata Tigor has had an upgrade during its lifetime with the standard Tigor having a 16.2 kWh battery pack being replaced with a 21.5 kWh battery pack extending the driving range from 142 km to 210 km. The car comes with both AC and DC fast charging.
The motor is powered by a 72-volt, 3-phase AC induction motor that produces 41 BHP (30kW) of power @ 4500 rpm and 105 Nm of torque @ 2500 rpm. The power is sent to the front wheels through a single speed Ziptron EV Powertrain transmission. There are two driving modes namely: drive and sport.
AC charging takes 11.5 hours for a full charge whereas DC fast charging can go from 0-80% in just two hours. The Tigor will come with dual airbags upfront as standard features. Also read Tata electric cras price in India.
Mahindra eVerito Electric Sedan
The Mahindra eVerito electric sedan was the first small electric car to be launched in India. When the car was launched, it was only available for commercial use, but subsequently they launched the vehicle for private buyers as well.
Due to increasing demand for electric vehicles in India, the government offered a subsidy of 1.5 lakh to support the customer. The car is available in three variants: D2, D4 and D6. It comes with a 18.55 kWh battery pack rated for an ARAI certified driving range of 140km.
The low driving range of the eVerito small electric car has been a complaint in the past. The weak electric motor prevents the eVerito from keeping up with traffic on the roads. The car is priced at Rs. 10.11 – 10.47 lakh.
Tata Nexon Electric SUV
This is Tatas first all-electric small SUV. Tata is rated as one of the leading manufacturers in India of small to large vehicles. It’s no surprise that Tata has forayed into the electric vehicle market as well.
The Nexon EV is a popular SUV that costs from Rs.13.99 – Rs.15.99 lakh for the top end variant. The vehicle gets a dual tone paint scheme, wider and bigger wheel arches, and skid plates that give the SUV a premium look.
The small electric SUV gets a 30.2 kWh battery pack and with DC fast charging, it can charge up to 80% in just 1 hour. The electric motor is a liquid cooled permanent magnet AC unit that has a power rating of 129 PS and torque of 245 Nm.
The range for Tata’s electric SUV is rated at 312 km and top speed of 120 km/h. Acceleration from 0-60 km/h can be achieved in just 4.6 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buying a small electric car can be a daunting task if you are not familiar with the terms and technology EVs have to offer. Here are some important questions and answers for those who don’t know the fundamentals of electric cars
Q1. Should I buy an EV now or wait?
Ans. If you are looking for car that you can use for short city
driving, a small electric car will be worth the money because the running costs are very low. Even the maintenance costs of a small electric car are almost nil as compared to an internal combustion engine car.
The only disadvantage of buying an electric car now, is that there is a lack of charging infrastructure across the country which makes long distance travel somewhat difficult with a small electric car.
Q2. Is it too soon to buy an electric car?
Ans. It is a bit soon to buy an electric car because of the lack of charging stations across the country and the irregular electricity supply provided by the government.
As a result, a small electric car can be driven only a certain amount of km everyday before you have to start hunting for a charging station or return home to charge your vehicle.
There are fewer service options for electric cars because dealerships in India focus more on the internal combustion petrol and diesel engine type cars.
Finally, if the battery pack has to be replaced, it can be quite a costly affair because a majority of the battery packs have to be imported as they are not manufactured in India. Read BMW electric cars in India.
Q3. How much more expensive is an electric car as compared to a regular car?
Ans. The battery pack for an electric car is the most expensive component in it. It accounts for nearly 50% of the initial cost of the vehicle.
The motors and sensors in small electric cars are also very costly. Overall, an electric vehicle is more costly than a petrol or diesel car by 30 – 40%. Read Tata Punch price.
Q4. What are the things I should look at before buying an electric car?
Ans. These are the following questions you should ask before buying an electric car:
What is the driving range of the small electric car in km?
How long will the battery pack last and what is the warranty offered?
Is it a fully electric or hybrid car?
What are the charging options?
Is the charging infrastructure in place?
What is the charging time for the small electric car?
Are there any hidden maintenance costs?
Q5. What parameters determine the driving range of a small electric car?
Ans. The various factors that decide the driving range of the electric car are:
Battery capacity – large or small
Driving style – aggressive or conservative
Overall weight of the vehicle – lighter the car, further the driving range
Power capacity of the electric motor
Q6. What is the most important component of an electric car?
Ans. The battery pack is the most important component of an
electric car because it provides electricity to the motor to keep the car in motion. It is also the most expensive component of an electric car.
Q7. How do I increase the driving range of my electric vehicle?
Ans. The driving should be as smooth as possible. No sudden acceleration, and no hard braking unnecessarily. Most EVs come with regenerative braking which charges the battery when you apply the brakes. This is used to increase the driving range by a small percentage. Turning off the Ac can also have benefits in terms of the driving range. Finally, keeping the tires in good condition and travelling light without heavy luggage is a good idea to increase the driving range.
Q8. Which are the best small electric cars in India?
Ans. Some of the best electric vehicles in India are:
Tata Tigor EV
Tata Nexon EV
Q9. Will my electric car run out of charge if I keep it parked?
Ans. The electric car will not lose charge when parked, even for extended periods of time. The battery will drain by only a small percentage, and will be ready to power the car the next time you need to drive it.
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