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Electric vehicles need to become affordable, says Maruti

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 22, 2017, 3:14 am IST
Updated : Dec 22, 2017, 3:16 am IST

People will adopt EVs more quickly if Centre incentivises it further.

R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India
 R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India

New Delhi: With so much noise about electric vehicles, country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki said that the biggest challenge will be how to make an affordable small electric car  for it to succeed in a market like India.

“Unless the car is affordable, it will not sell,” said Maruti Suzuki India chairman R.C. Bhargava.

He pointed out that 75 per cent cars sold in India are small cars. “How to make small cars electrified and affordable, I think it is one of the challenges we will have to face. Because making affordable e-small cars is different from making a large affordable e-car. A car may become affordable in Europe and US but same car cant be affordable in India for the masses,” he said.  

Maruti, which plans to launch its first EV in India by 2020 will conduct a study in next few weeks to find out what the people want and will prepare a strategy accordingly for the success of electric vehicles in India.

“It will gauge what average consumer thinks about EVs. This survey is going to provide us the first reliable data from the ground. We will start it within two to three weeks and by about end of February we would have some authentic basis to answer queries on EVs,” Mr Bhargava said.

The government has set eyes on 100 per cent EVs for public mobility and 40 per cent electric for personal mobility by 2030. In a white paper submitted to the government, auto industry body SIAM had proposed 40 per cent of all new vehicles sold in the country to be electric by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2047.     

When asked about Maruti’s EV launch plans, Mr Bhargava said the first one will hit the market by 2020 and the company will also set up charging stations.     

On the future of conventional internal combustion (IC) engine vehicles, he said it will continue to grow. The company has done an assessment, assuming an annual growth rate of 8 per cent between now and 2030, that 71 million cars will be sold, of which 14.4 million will be electric and 56.6 million will be IC vehicles, he said.

“So, conventional cars will continue to be four times that of electric,” he added.

Tags: maruti suzuki, electric vehicles, r.c. bhargava