Electric vehicles are still not popular in India. High price for vehicles, shorter range and lack of infrastructure such as charging point are the prime reasons for EVs still not getting traction here. However, the scene is set to change as the Narendra Modi government recently announced its ambitious plan that sees India using only electric vehicles by 2030.
While some industry veterans are still concerned over the practicality of the mission, carmakers have already started working on the EVs. Currently, the only EV brand in India is Mahindra Electric that sells E2o and eVerito.
Going forward leading car maker such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors will launch EVs and works on that front is already on.
Maruti Suzuki currently holds nearly 50 percent of market share and planning bolster its presence in the EV era as well. "Government has announced a programme to rapidly promote the use of electric vehicles in India. It is a very laudable policy as it will greatly enhance the usage and over time lead to a cleaner environment," RC Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki India told shareholders in the company's 36th annual general meeting (AGM) reports PTI.
He added that the company will come with electric vehicles after determining customer preference. "Your company will not hold back in the segment. As soon as we can determine the customer preference we will come up with such models. In the meantime, the focus will be to increase fuel efficiency (in current models) and bring in new technologies," Bhargava said.
India's second largest carmaker Hyundai is considering the assembly of electric vehicles in India as early as 2019 and has dropped hybrid car plans for the market, reports ET Auto.
"We are ready to bring EVs into India as a test market, may be a completely knocked down (CKD) project, then we have to decide, which type of model — SUV or car. We have the Kona SUV and Elantra sedan segment and we may decide on the vehicle to be rolled out in the second half of this year. In the second half of 2018 or first half of 2019, you can expect a CKD project from Hyundai for electric vehicles," the publication quoted YK Koo, MD of Hyundai Motor India as saying.
Tata Motors and its wholly-owned UK-based subsidiary Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) are gearing up for the launch of its first electric vehicle (EV). The model in question will be an electric version of its Tiago. The debut of the model in India is expected at the upcoming Auto Expo 2018 in February. In addition, Tata Motors officials recently hinted at an electric version of the ambitious small car Nano.
Mahindra Electric has already announced a plan for a mega boost to its production capacity of e-vehicles. The brand will also invest on next-generation EVs that will provide longer range and higher speeds. Mahindra calls the initiative as 'EV 2.0.'
Mahindra Electric is already working on EVs with 380v and 650v battery capacity. The new powertrains are expected to achieve top speeds up to 200kmph and will have a range of up to 400km.
Mahindra Electric's Chakan plant currently has a monthly capacity to produce 400 electric cars. Within the next two years, the company plans to ramp up monthly production to 5000 units.