Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car manufacturer has a variety of models in their line-up in India. One thing that they currently miss is a proper electric vehicle. Maruti Suzuki is now planning to launch new electric vehicles in the market, in a bid to compete with other manufacturers. Currently, Tata Motors is the leading manufacturer in India when it comes electric cars. In a conversation with Economic Times Hisashi Takeuchi, new Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki said that the carmaker plans to roll out its first electric vehicle in 2025. last month, Suzuki Motor Corporation had announced that they would be investing over 10,000 crores for developing electric vehicles and electric vehicle batteries in Gujarat plant.
The first electric vehicle in 2025 will be rolled out from the Gujarat plant. In the interaction, Hisashi Takeuchi said. “We are a little behind our competitors in introducing the (EV) model to the Indian market, but we see that still, the market demand for those EVs is limited. Actually, sales of EVs in the Indian market are still very, very limited.” He added that they have been working on electric vehicles for years now. They have carried out extensive tests on existing models. The battery packs and motors are placed on to models that are already available in the market.
This was done in order to ensure that the electric vehicles from Maruti Suzuki are suitable for Indian environment. The manufacturer has done similar tests on multiple cars over the .last one year. Hisashi Takeuchi said that they are developing electric vehicles for India specification. He also confirmed that the manufacturer will be launching multiple EV models in the Indian market to strengthen its position in the EV space. He added that as the demand for electric vehicles rise in the country, Maruti Suzuki would like to be the leader in Indian automotive space, which is not just limited to Internal Combustion engine models but all passenger cars. He also mentioned that Maruti Suzuki eyes to be the leader in Indian electric vehicle space.
The manufacturer said that manufacturing EVs is still expensive mainly because of the cost of the raw material, especially the battery. The price of an electric car would come down if the battery pack used in it is smaller. A smaller battery pack would mean that the car will have lesser driving range and more range anxiety among owners. This could also mean that the electric vehicle from Maruti Suzuki is unlikely to be priced under Rs 10 lakh. Maruti Suzuki had initially started testing for WagonR based electric vehicles in the market. They had plans to launch the car in the market by 2020 but, they put the launch on hold after they figured out that there was a lack of charging infrastructure in the country. Maruti Suzuki’s WagonR EV is one of the most commonly spotted vehicle under test in India. The manufacturer has been carrying out test for several years now. When launched, it is most likely to be the most affordable EV from the manufacturer in India. It could also be the most affordable EV in the country.