With the prices of petrol inching closer to Rs 100 per litre, people who want to save on fuel costs are making a beeline for battery-operated scooters in Tamil Nadu. According to the centralised Vahan database, the battery-operated vehicles’ registration has touched 9,567 till April 24 this year as against the 5,696 e-vehicles registered in the whole of 2020. In 2019, the State recorded 3,444 e-vehicles’ registration.
“The number of inquiries from prospective buyers of e-vehicles also witnessed a three-fold rise in the past three-four months,” said an official of Ather Energy’s Experience Centre at Nungambakkam. Ather Energy has sold 766 e-scooters in the last four months compared to 741 last year. The market leader – Hero Electric Vehicles – recorded a sale of 1,702 e-scooters in 2021 (till April) in comparison to 1,562 in 2020.
“Though the cost of an e-scooter is higher than the conventional ones, the operation cost is much lesser considering the big fuel prices and low electricity price in the State,” said K Arunkumar who owns an e-scooter. “It’s a one-time investment. The cost of operation is much less as I will be spending Rs 20 in terms of electricity charges for my daily ride of about 40 km against Rs 92 per litre of petrol. Moreover, the Ather has offered buy-back option at the end of three years,” he said.
A senior transport department official said apart from the fuel price hike, the State exempting battery-operated vehicles from the payment of motor vehicle tax till the end of 2022 also helped boost e-vehicles sales.
“Almost 90-95 per cent of the e-vehicles registration comprises of e-scooters. Once the charging stations start coming up on the highways, the sale will boost further,” the official said.