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While Funny, Failed Attempt of Stealing an Electric Car as it Runs Out of Charge is an Extremely Serious Issue

Hyundai Kona Electric SUV. (Photo: Hyundai)

Hyundai Kona Electric SUV. (Photo: Hyundai)

There are many myths and concerns about the electric vehicles in India and the recent Tesla theft incident in the U.S. highlights the battery charging problem.

Arjit Garg
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While many laughed off the recent incident where a car thief in the United States was caught after she ran out of the battery juice in the stolen Tesla, the incident precisely highlights the underlying problem with the electric vehicles. Kathy Sain was pursued by cops after she stole a Tesla Model 3 from a shopping centre parking lot in Payson, Arizona and shed evaded spike strips, but the stolen car came to a halt after it ran out of power.

This might be the bad luck for the thief, but the electric vehicle consumers, especially in India are worried about this very concern before accepting EVs as a regular mode of transportation.

Even though there was a Tesla charging station in the shopping centre, charging it could have wasted a lot of time.

This is what differs an EV with a gasoline/ diesel powered vehicle. A 40-litre tank usually takes 3-5 minutes to fill, giving a range of 400-600 km depending on car to car. An EV (Hyundai Kona for example) with 450 Km range will take 57 minutes to charge using a fast charger, that too only 80% per cent range.

For a typical consumer in a market like India, this comes across as a major problem and nobody is ready to accept the extra effort it takes to charge an EV. A full EV, in that case, might not strike a chord with the future buyers.

The solution, then is, PHEVs or Plug-in Hybrids. These are your regular electric cars that can be charged using a charging station, but also has a petrol engine in case the battery juice runs out. This, of course, depends on the market to market.

In countries like Norway and US, the charging infra is well spread and the inhibitions are equally less and that is why even the cars like Tesla Model 3, the one stolen by Sain dominated the electric-auto market in the US.

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