EV Ready India | The wheels are turning and how! — Exploring the spike in EV sales in India

OMI Foundation
13 min readJun 26, 2024


By Jagriti Arora
The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in India has seen a significant increase in recent months, with the percentage of EV registrations rising from just 0.94% in August 2022 to a peak of 7.33% in December 2023. (OMI Foundation, n.d; Ministry of Road Transport, n.d.) This trend is evident in the monthly registration data, which shows a steady increase in EV registrations from August 2023 onwards, reaching a high of 158,565 units in November 2023 and 147,590 units in December 2023. (OMI Foundation, n.d.) During the same period, total vehicle registrations also increased, but at a slower pace, indicating a significant rise in EV adoption rates. (chart 1). This surge presents an opportunity to closely observe the sector and further enhance the factors contributing to its success.

Figure 1: Registration of EVs from (Aug 2022-March 2024); Overall vehicular registration (Aug 2022-March 2024); Source: EVReady India Dashboard, and Vaahan Dashboard

The growth in electric vehicle (EV) sales in India is being attributed to various factors. The primary drivers behind the rising adoption of electric vehicles among Indian consumers are the improving cost parity with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, particularly in the two-wheeler segments, (PHILIP, 2023) as well as the availability of government subsidies and incentives. (Kachwala & Dasgupta, 2024) Additionally, the expansion of safety and servicing infrastructure has contributed to the increased appeal of EVs. (Hema & Venkatarangan, 2024)
However, there is limited data in the public domain to state correlations with these factors with certainty. The spike in EV adoption has raised questions about the many such factors contributing to this trend, which this piece will explore with first principles thinking. This piece will take a different analysis of the foundational factors influencing EV adoption, such as government incentives, regulatory environment, new product launches, and technological enhancements, charging infrastructure, and supply chain issues. By deconstructing the problem into these fundamental components, this piece hopes to provide a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the Indian EV market.

As many as ten Indian states notified their EV policies between July 2022 to December 2023, (OMI Foundation, n.d.) potentially incentivising new buyers and OEMs. Figure 2 presents the timeline of EV policy notifications.

Figure 2: Timeline of notification of EV policies; Source: EVReady India Dashboard;

Government incentives

Government incentives significantly drive the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) by reducing the upfront costs and making them more financially attractive to consumers and businesses. Here’s how these incentives might have influenced EV sales in India:

1. Purchase Incentives: Many states offer direct purchase incentives, which lower the initial purchase price of EVs. For example, Bihar offers incentives ranging from INR 5,000 to INR 1,50,000 per vehicle depending on the type of EV. This direct reduction in cost makes EVs more accessible and attractive compared to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. Table 1 highlights some of the government’s fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

2. Tax Rebates and Exemptions: To further reduce the cost, states offer various other rebates and incentives mentioned below. For example, Ladakh exempts all e-vehicles from road taxes. This not only lowers the ongoing ownership costs but also encourages consumers to consider EVs over conventional vehicles. Moreover some policies also offer scrapping incentives, as seen in Chandigarh, where the policy offers a scrapping incentive of INR 5,000 for electric two-wheelers. The primary electric vehicle (EV) incentive in India is the reduced Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate. Currently, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are subject to a 28% GST, while EVs have a lower 5% GST rate. This reduced GST for EVs effectively provides a 20% discount on the purchase price for consumers. As a result, the government collects 67% less tax revenue for each EV sold compared to an ICE vehicle. (Rajagopal, 2023).

3. Non Fiscal Incentives: In addition to the financial incentives, the governments have also introduced some non-financial incentives. The states of Maharashtra and West Bengal have implemented various non-fiscal incentives to promote the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Maharashtra has created green zones, reserved parking for EVs, and allocated public land for charging points, making it easier for EV owners to access these facilities. Additionally, West Bengal has focused on creating green zones and incentivising efficient charging roll-out strategies like mobility cards, which can help streamline the charging process and make it more convenient for EV users. These initiatives aim to create a supportive environment for EV adoption, encouraging more people to switch to cleaner and more sustainable transportation options. (Anup, 2024)

Regulatory Environment

The regulatory environment plays a critical role in shaping the EV market, primarily through setting standards and mandates that guide the operations of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other stakeholders. For instance, the stringent emissions norms under the BS-VI regulations and the push towards EVs have led original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to invest in local manufacturing units for EV components, thereby supporting local economies. The table below presents how certain regulatory measures have supported the adoption of EVs.

Regulatory measures that have supported the adoption of EVs.

New Product Launches

From August 2022 to August 2023, there was a notable increase in the variety of electric vehicle (EV) models available in India, spanning several market segments. This expansion likely played a key role in the rapid adoption of EVs throughout the country. The introduction of these new models served to both broaden the market and cater to diverse consumer needs and preferences, thereby enhancing the accessibility and attractiveness of electric mobility. We analysed these new vehicle launches over the specified period, focusing on factors such as range, top speed, and price. This analysis was based on the Monthly EV Update provided by JMK Research, from which we derived several insights.

Electric Cars

Between August 2022 to August 2023, the electric vehicle market saw the introduction of 20 new electric cars (E-cars), covering a range of categories from luxury sedans to compact city cars. This flurry of activity peaked in October — November 2022, with several notable launches such as the Tata Tigor, and MG Motor ZS EV,, indicating manufacturers’ strategy to capitalise on year-end buying trends. Conversely, August 2022 experienced the fewest launches, which may suggest a period of market analysis or a gearing up phase for the rollout of new models later in the year. The diversity in the models launched demonstrates a robust expansion of the E-car sector, catering to a broad spectrum of consumer preferences and needs.

The electric cars launched this year showcased significant advancements in technology and performance metrics. For instance, the Mercedes Benz EQS 580 offers an impressive maximum range of 857 km, setting a high benchmark for electric vehicle capability, while the more modest PMV Eas-E provides an entry-level range of 120 km. The mean range across all models stands at approximately 377 km, with the most common range around 315 km, seen in models like the Tata Tiago and Tata Tigor. In terms of speed, the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ leads with a top speed of 250 km/h, whereas the Citroën E-C3 caters to urban environments with a top speed of 107 km/h. The pricing spectrum is equally broad, with the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+ priced at an upscale INR 2.45 crore and the MG Comet available at an accessible INR 7.98 lakh, indicating a versatile market approach to pricing. Overall, the sector’s growth is further evidenced by month-on-month improvements in battery performance and vehicle range, promising even greater advancements and market penetration in the near future.

Electric Two-Wheelers

The introduction of various electric two-wheelers, such as the Ola Electric S1, Ampere Primus, TVS X, and the Ultraviolette F77 Space Edition, addressed different market segments ranging from affordable utility-focused models to high-performance sports bikes. (Seetharaman & Sampat, 2023) This segment’s expansion is crucial in India, where two-wheelers are a popular mode of transportation due to their affordability and manoeuvrability in congested urban areas.

Among the e-two wheelers categories, e-scooters dominate the launches, showcasing diverse battery capacities and performance specs, with models like the Ola S1 Pro and Benling Believe marking the higher end of range and speed capabilities. E-motorcycles, represented by high-performance models such as the Ultraviolette F77 series and Matter models, also display significant top speeds and extended ranges. E-bicycles, though fewer in number, focus on urban mobility with moderate speed and range, like the VAAN Electric Moto Urban Sport. E-scooters have a broad range variation from about 50 km to as much as 307 km for models like the Ultraviolette F77 Recon, with common price points around INR 85,000, indicating this as a mode in the pricing category. E-motorcycles often reach up to 307 km range and top speeds over 140 km/h, suitable for various uses from city commuting to performance riding, with a mode likely around INR 1,50,000 for price and 85 km/h for top speed. E-bicycles maintain a cap at about 25 km/h for top speeds, focusing on safety and compliance, typically not exceeding 70 km for range and commonly priced around INR 55,000. Additionally, This structured analysis helps underline the market’s evolving dynamics with advancements in battery technology and motor efficiency, reflecting in the month-on-month improvements in standard market offerings.

By providing options with enhanced power, battery capacity, and range, manufacturers have likely helped increase the adoption rate among daily commuters.

Electric Three-Wheelers

The launch of models like the Mahindra e-Alfa Super, Euler Motors HiLoad EV, and Piaggio Ape Electrik may have significantly contributed to promoting EV adoption in the commercial and last-mile transport sectors. (Seetharaman & Sampat, 2023) Bajaj Auto’s electric three-wheelers, such as the RE 4S CNG and RE Maxima Cargo, have contributed to the growth of the e-cargo space by offering compelling, value-for-money vehicles that cater to the needs of transport entrepreneurs and first-time buyers in India. (Bajaj Auto, n.d., Dalvi, 2023) These vehicles are essential for small-scale cargo delivery and passenger transport, which are critical components of urban and semi-urban mobility in India.

In 2022, the electric three-wheeler (E3W) market saw the launch of 25 different models, split between cargo and passenger variants. The data reveals a heavier emphasis on the cargo segment, with 14 new models introduced, reflecting the growing demand for electric logistics solutions. The passenger category followed closely with 11 models. The peak in these launches occurred in November 2022, aligning with strategic industry timing to leverage post-festival and year-end sales boosts. Conversely, August 2022 recorded the fewest launches, which might suggest a period of market assessment or preparation for future models by manufacturers.

The analysis of these E3Ws based on range and speed demonstrates significant diversity and adaptation to market needs. For cargo E3Ws, the range stretched from a minimum of 85 km to a maximum of 250 km, with the most common range settling around 120 km. Passenger models saw a maximum range of 197 km, but a broader mode of 150 km, indicating a robust design tailored for extended city use. Top speeds showed a narrower variation, with cargo models peaking at 50 km/h and passenger versions slightly faster at 55 km/h, suitable for urban environments. Price points varied widely, with the most expensive passenger model reaching up to INR 7,00,000, while cargo models were generally more affordable. Over the months, there has been a noticeable improvement in vehicle specifications, particularly in battery capacity, which has directly enhanced the range and top speeds achievable, marking a positive trend towards more efficient and capable electric three-wheelers.

These new launches across different EV categories have likely had a multi-faceted impact on EV adoption:

  1. Increased Awareness and Interest: The introduction of varied models has raised public interest and awareness about electric mobility, its benefits, and its viability. (Kuttisseril, 2023) This can be further supported by the improvement in the diversity of market offerings — from luxury sedans to utility-focused electric two-wheelers — the consumers began to see EVs not just as an eco-friendly alternative, but as a viable, practical option for daily transportation needs.
  2. Improved Infrastructure and Support: With more EVs on the road, there is a natural progression towards the development of better charging infrastructure, which in turn reduces range anxiety among potential EV buyers. (Kuttisseril, 2023) This expansion in infrastructure has directly addressed one of the major hurdles in EV adoption: range anxiety. With more charging stations becoming readily available, potential EV buyers feel more confident in the practicality of owning and operating an EV over long distances and for daily commutes. This enhanced infrastructure not only supports the current fleet of electric vehicles but also prepares the ground for future increases in EV usage, paving the way for a more sustainable automotive ecosystem.

Charging Infrastructure

Between August 2022 and August 2023, the charging infrastructure in India has improved significantly, with the number of public charging stations increasing from approximately 1,800 to over 4,00012. (Moerenhout & Goel, n.d.) The Indian government has sanctioned 2,900 stations under FAME II, with another 1,600 in development or being planned. Additionally, nine megacities in India more than doubled the number of public charging stations between October 2021 and January 20221. The National Highway Authority of India is also aiming to set up EV charging stations every 40 kilometres on highways. (Moerenhout & Goel, n.d.)

However, strategic expansion and not abundance by brute force might be the answer. Mere increase in charging facilities does not directly correlate with higher vehicle adoption rates. The strategic placement and utilisation rates of charging stations are just as important as the number of charging points. Properly addressing these factors can enhance the economic viability of EVs, increase consumer confidence, and further encourage corporate and fleet transitions to electric options. Additionally, ongoing innovations in smart charging and energy management are crucial for effectively integrating these systems into the grid, thus supporting India’s transition toward a cleaner transportation system.

Supply Chain Issues and Production Delays:

In India, production delays for electric vehicles (EVs) were caused by safety certification delays, resulting in subsidies worth over ₹1200 crore being on hold for around a dozen companies (Philip & Chaliawala, n.d.). Semiconductor shortages have been a significant issue in recent years, with revenue misses of over $500 billion worldwide in 2020 and 2021 due to the shortage. (Gunde et al., n.d.) The semiconductor industry has been experiencing a shortage, leading to increased prices and longer lead times for customers. This shortage has affected various industries, including the automotive sector. (Earle, 2021) This issue affected the availability of EVs in the market, potentially impacting sales. However, such production delays, while initially detrimental, often lead to a subsequent spike in production and sales. Once the certification issues are resolved, companies typically accelerate production to meet backlogged orders and consumer demand. This rush to capitalise on the pending subsidies and regain lost time can result in a sharp increase in manufacturing output. Moreover, the resolution of such delays usually sees an improvement in the regulatory framework and processes, which can streamline future production cycles and enhance consumer confidence in EV safety standards, thereby boosting adoption rates. Thus, while the certification-related delays posed immediate challenges, they likely paved the way for a robust recovery and growth spike in India’s EV sector once the issues were addressed.

The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in India, highlighted by a significant rise in EV registrations from 0.94% in August 2022 to 7.33% in December 2023, reflects a robust growth trajectory driven by multiple factors. The known-knowns in this scenario include the substantial increase in available EV models across cars, two-wheelers, and three-wheelers, each targeting different market segments and needs, which broadens their appeal. The expansion of charging infrastructure, with public charging stations increasing significantly, directly supports this adoption by alleviating range anxiety and enhancing consumer convenience.

However, the known-unknowns persist, especially concerning the long-term sustainability of this growth. These include the potential impacts of ongoing supply chain issues and production delays, such as those caused by safety certification backlogs that temporarily held up over ₹1200 crore in subsidies. While these delays present immediate challenges and could temporarily dip production rates, they often lead to a subsequent spike as manufacturers rush to compensate for lost time once issues are resolved. Additionally, the integration of an expanding charging network with the existing electrical grid to ensure stability remains an area requiring ongoing attention and innovation. Overall, while challenges persist, the foundational developments in policy support, infrastructure, and market diversification set a promising stage for the continued expansion of the EV market in India.


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EDITORS: Rohit Pathania, Former Lead, Centre for Clean Mobility, OMI Foundation; Pradeep Karuturi, Lead, Centre for Clean Mobility; Aishwarya Raman, Executive Director, OMI Foundation

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