What are other luxury car-makers thinking? BMW India's officials say that while they actually brought in the first hybrid plug-in the i8 in India around three years ago, their sense is that the charging infrastructure is still not mature and they are going to hold off on an all electric rendition until that time.
However, Audi's Ansari says that their e-tron can actually be hooked up almost anywhere there is a 2-pin socket, adding that with a full-range of 400 kilometers it can actually be topped up in a couple of hours, every other day or so, given that most city commuters in metros don't travel more than 60 or 70 kilometers daily.
Will other electric cars follow the e-tron? Ansari says that its very likely but will of course hinge on the success of the e-tron. Industry sources say the electric lineup which is to be fully launched by 2025, includes a sportback SUV, a sports car and also station wagon.
So far as mass production mainstream electric car sales in India go, the field has been limited to a mixed bag with have been led by SUV maker Mahindra which started with its acquisition of start-up Reva in 2010 and then used its technology to rollout the e-20 and the e-Verito which was derived from the Logan sedan produced through a joint venture with Renault. Those vehicle volumes have been tiny and cars that have been launched have been more akin to quadricycles or compact four seaters as opposed to larger highway-ready cars with a full range of modern technology and features. Other cars that aim to go fully electric in the mass manufacturer segment include Maruti's WagonR, and Tata Motors Tigor and Tiageo, industry analysts say.
"This is a clear indication that premium automakers are ready with their electric technology for our roads given that the government is keen to make such technologies mainstream but the levels of widespread acceptance for fully electric cars will only be accurately measured in a couple years," says Suraj Ghosh, Principal Analyst, SouthAsia Powertrain Forecasts, IHS Markit Automotive. He adds that the electric vehicle
market by 2030 is expected to reach around 4 percent of the entire market which is approximately 350,000 cars. Be that as it may, the bottom-line as Ansari point out is that electric cars in India are "no more about science fiction but science fact."