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WEF 2022: Have we put EVs on sale before fully testing, asks Ramesh Iyer, MD, Mahindra Finance

WEF 2022: Have we put EVs on sale before fully testing, asks Ramesh Iyer, MD, Mahindra Finance

According to Ramesh Iyer, there needs to be a lot of communication from the manufacturers in terms of why such incidents are happening and what actions are being taken.

WEF 2022: Have we put EVs on sale before fully testing, asks Ramesh Iyer, MD, Mahindra Finance WEF 2022: Have we put EVs on sale before fully testing, asks Ramesh Iyer, MD, Mahindra Finance

There have been quite a few instances of electric vehicles catching fire and, according to Ramesh Iyer, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Finance, one needs to check if the vehicles were fully and properly tested before being made available in the market. 

“Are we a little faster to put it in the market for sales before it has been fully tested,” he said while speaking with Business Today at the World Economic Forum at Davos. 

“I don’t have an answer but look at it from the consumer point of view. There are two angles to this. One is they buy this with their hard-earned money. Second is the health hazard and the confidence. Once they see this happen, they will start asking whether to buy or not,” he said when asked for his views about incidents of electric vehicles catching fire. 

My personal opinion is that there has to be a lot of communication to come out to say why this is happening and what actions are being taken, he added.  

Iyer, who has been with the financial services major since 1994, said that many aspects of electric vehicles including those related to resale value has not yet been clearly established even as one knows that the cost of operation is much lower than other traditional fuel-based vehicles. 

“In the auto industry if someone is going to buy a vehicle, the first question is what is the likely resale price at the end of may be three years. That has not been established as yet. Cost of operation is well established. It is going to be much lesser than the cost of operating any other fuel vehicle,” said Iyer. 

On a different note, Iyer, who serves on the boards of several Mahindra Group companies, said that India is at a great position in terms of business and one shouldn’t complain about the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiking rates. 

“Let us be fair. They (RBI) have helped us for a very long time. The time has come when the consumers have to pick up something. But what is the consumer looking for? If his business is doing well, if he is doing well, then he doesn’t mind accommodating this cost,” said Iyer. 

“Now things are changing, consumers are back to normalcy. I am sure they will be more than willing to accommodate (the hike),” he added. 

On the issue of rural economy, he said that while the first quarter was a “disaster” because of what happened in the rural market, the ensuing three quarters were phenomenal. 

“We do a lot of work with the rural market… Rural gets impacted the fastest but bounces back also the fastest… look at the three quarters we had after that (first quarter). We outperformed in every aspect possible. What does this say? Sentiments are back to absolute normal and positive. Most of the activity that drives the economy is doing very well,” said Iyer.

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