CHENNAI: Pre-used electric car market is the new future-growth niche that organised used-car companies are focusing on. While Mahindra First Choice Wheels (MFCW) has already opened a showroom in Bengaluru to sell used electric vehicles, backed by its own certification and warranty support, others like Droom and Cartrade are also stepping on the gas in this segment. In focus are cities like Bengaluru where the electric vehicle population has grown in the last couple of years. Also in focus are in-campus commercial vehicle usage as well as short-distance second car options even in cities like Delhi.
 
"We have just inaugurated Car Connect, India's first certified, pre-owned, electric vehicle outlet, in HSR Layout in Bengaluru and we want to replicate this not only in Bengaluru itself but in other cities like Delhi as well. Already our new outlet received 8-10 enquiries and walk-ins on the very first day. In time we see this segment catering to small commute second vehicle customers as well as niche taxi segments as well", Nagendra Palle, MD&CEO, MFCW said. MFCW is looking at growing the business through its warranty programme ELEKTRICFIRST and will also explore fleet opportunities for electric vehicles as the ecosystem evolves. And, while it has so far not looked at two-wheelers in general, "if there's good demand for used electric two-wheelers, there may be an opportunity there of a different channel," said Palle.
 
Given that M&M is looking to use the pre-owned business to push trade-ins, thus helping the sale of its e2o vehicles, other pre-owned online players too are showing an interest in the electric vehicle space. "The electric/hybrid pre-owned vehicle is a category of interest to us and has been a part of our roadmap from day one. We are plugging into multiple niches including this", Sandeep Aggarwal, founder of online auto marketplace Droom said. Given that a new e2o costs well over Rs 10 lakh and the first pre-owned electric vehicle to be sold through Car Connect fetched around Rs 3.75 lakh, the pre-owned option is excellent value for money, feel marketers.

Industry experts also say that the car consumer is coming around to the idea of the electric vehicle on account of fuel prices and maintenance costs. "The average internal combustion vehicle has a minimum of 2000 parts whereas an electric vehicle has just 18, so in terms of maintenance these are very easy on the pocket. That recognition is picking up speed and we are finding a lot of interest in hybrid and electric vehicles with models like the Ciaz mild-hybrid, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry hybrids and the Prius making it a top-of-the-mind technology", Dhruv Chopra, chief marketing officer, Carwale said.

In a recently conducted survey on electric and hybrid vehicles, 39% of the respondents named electric/hybrid as the other fuel/powertrain variety they know of besides petrol and diesel. In comparison CNG/LPG scored much less with 29% mentioning these options. In the electric/hybrid category, electric scored much higher and Mahindra and e2o scoring big with 37% awareness followed by Tesla and Prius.


Source:The Times of India