Should you rent an electric vehicle (EV) before buying one? Here is a cost comparison

Shubham, a 22-year-old Delhi-based supply government who works with BigBasket, first forayed into electric vehicles (EVs) three years in the past, when he rented an electric bike from Zypp. Travelling on his common bike was burning a gap in his pocket. “Out of Rs.1,000 that I earned per day, I used to spend up to Rs.200 daily on just petrol and servicing. But with an electric bike, I pay Rs.500 per month to the company as electricity charges. It’s a win-win for me,” he says. Plus, the necessity to cost at residence is negligible, since one can simply cowl as much as 90 kilometres with a single cost. Convinced of EVs’ viability, he not too long ago bought an Okinawa electric bike for his brother to make use of.

So ought to you consider buying an EV too? There is no denying that EV adoption in India is steering forward, full throttle. This is significantly true for two-wheelers. Recent information from the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations of India (FADA) notes that 2,77,910 electric bikes have been offered in April-September 2022. As of August 2022, 4.90% of all two-wheelers offered within the nation have been powered by electrical energy. In distinction, EV vehicles fell nicely quick, with simply 18,142 electric autos offered throughout the identical interval, constituting a tiny 1.5% of complete Indian automobile gross sales. Buying an electric vehicle upfront may be onerous on the pocket.


Says Sameer Arif, Co-founder of Bangalore-based EV subscription firm SWYTCHD, “Initially, electric vehicles cost around 30-50% more compared to their traditional petrol or diesel counterparts. But over time, they are certainly the more cost-effective option.” The long-term financial advantages are many. Last yr, Bhagalpur-based businessman Shubham Kumar bought a Hero Electric Photon+ bike for his day by day commute. He was not sure about shelling out Rs.98,000 for an electric two-wheeler initially. But since then, he and the bike have come a good distance, with Kumar saying it is “very practical” for navigating short-distances and metropolis visitors. Consider this. If you drive 50 km day by day, you might find yourself saving Rs.25,750.58 yearly, simply by going electric.

However, taking the EV route instantly would possibly become a disastrous expertise for some. Gurgaon-based analyst Aastha Bisht bought her first vehicle, a Hero EV bike, in 2017. But simply a yr later, she gave up, due to the bike’s random, frequent battery discharges, which frequently left her stranded and pissed off. So, what’s the answer? Cue vehicle leasing. If you wish to take a look at your consolation with EVs first, you can undertake a “try-before-you-buy” method—renting or subscribing to an EV.


This is the place corporations like VA-YU and SWYTCHD come into image. With a fleet of round 250 electric vehicles, SWYTCHD has already seen 1,000+ signups in its preliminary stage. While electric bikes on SWYTCHD may be subscribed for Rs.4,000-6,000 each month, automobile rental costs can go as much as Rs.60,000 monthly.

Most of those signups accrue from riders aged between 21-35 years of age, who wish to stay asset-light and save on the hassles related to vehicle possession. “In future, going electric won’t remain a choice, but will rather become a compulsion. But at present, riders are uncertain and unwilling to commit fully to an electric vehicle, particularly cars because of high ownership costs, less awareness, and an underdeveloped resale market,” says Arif.

However, Akash Gupta, who heads Zypp Electric, feels in a different way. He thinks that Indians place a greater worth on proudly owning a two-wheeler that they use day by day, as an alternative of renting it. This was one of many the reason why the corporate pivoted its elementary mannequin from beforehand offering weekly and month-to-month leases to working professionals to focusing solely on supply executives.

What’s necessary to notice is that leases can solely function a stop-gap, short-term answer. In the long term, EV possession makes way more financial sense than leases. Thanks to varied authorities incentives, buying an EV may be lucrative, on condition that interest charges on loans for such vehicles are normally about 30 bps decrease than a common automobile mortgage. One also can declare an earnings tax deduction on the curiosity paid on a mortgage taken for buying an EV.



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