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Hybrid Cars Gain Traction As Enthusiasm Ebbs For Electric Vehicles

Hybrid cars have the potential to assist the auto industry in reducing short-term fuel and emissions while easing consumers into the electrification of their vehicles 


There has been a shift in the Indian market’s ‘buying intent’ for electric automobiles, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Even though the decline is slight, the results show that the automotive landscape is changing, as the proportion of respondents who said they would prefer an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car dropped from 54 per cent in the beginning of 2023 to 48 per cent by October. Notably, the freeze is in place in spite of the large number of new electric vehicle models that have entered the Indian market this year.


There were just five hybrid vehicles available for the mass market as of December 2023: the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Invicto, the Honda City e-HEV, the Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder and Innova Hycross and the Honda City e-HEV. On the other hand, there were ten models of electric vehicles: Citroën eC3, BYD Atto 3, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Mahindra XUV400, Tiago EV, Tigor EV, Comet EV and BYD Nexon EV.


In 2024, the market expects the introduction of numerous intriguing electric models, including the Kia EV9, Tesla, Mahindra XUV.e8, Tata Curvv EV, Harrier EV, Safari EV and Punch EV. However, no new hybrid cars are projected to enter the market. The unexpected change is explained by Deloitte’s Rajeev Singh, Partner and Consumer Industry Leader at Deloitte Asia Pacific, who says, “Despite this wide choice, the purchase intent for EVs has come down.” Singh ascribes this fall to issues with the infrastructure for charging, more knowledge of the expensive cost of replacing batteries, decreased resale value and worries about what would happen to electric cars in India.


Although producers of electric vehicles have long hailed decreased total cost of ownership (TCO) as a major benefit, higher sales are not the result of this. According to studies conducted by automakers such as Tata Motors and MG Motor India, the cost of operating an electric vehicle (EV) can be as low as Rs 1 to Rs 1.5 per km, while diesel automobiles might cost as much as Rs 5–6 per km. But for many consumers, the higher initial cost of EVs—primarily because of their costly batteries—remains a turnoff.


It’s interesting to note that customer acceptance of hybrid vehicles is growing. Hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular in India thanks to their great fuel efficiency and ability to operate mostly on electricity without requiring a large infrastructure of charging stations.

This year, Deloitte found that the top reasons people choose electric vehicles (EVs) were “lower fuel costs,” “better driving experience,” “less maintenance than ICE cars,” and “using the vehicle as a power source.” The fact that climate change concerns came in a distant fifth place on the list highlights the practical factors impacting consumer decisions in the Indian automobile sector.

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