Companies

Maruti treads cautiously on EV launch plan; Electric WagonR will go for further trials

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 24, 2019

RC Bhargava (left), Chairman, MSIL, and K Kenichi Ayukawa, CEO and MD, at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday   -  Kamal Narang

Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is treading cautiously on the launch of its electric vehicle by 2020 due to not enough support from the government and lack of infrastructure. The company, however, may launch the vehicle only for transporting people (cab aggregators) next year.

The company had earlier announced plans to launch electric car based on WagonR by 2020, which is being tested on the Indian roads since last year. However, MSIL now says by next year the vehicle, will be “at a stage which can go to the next stage of trials and testing”.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the announcement of the company’s quarterly results, RC Bhargava, Chairman, MSIL, said, “They are not on to a stage where I can sell it commercially to individuals because there is no government support for it. If you want to do an EV programme (launch) in India, somebody has to manufacture battery in India,” he said.“Both Suzuki and us have a programme going on what to do in this area. As we go along we will keep implementing that programme but don’t expect any sudden announcement that now we are putting 1,00,000 EVs on roads,” he said.

Bharagava said even the government’s priority on EVs has changed. “ They are giving higher priority to electrifying two-wheelers, cars for personal use don’t have any priority for them. The faster adoption and manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles (FAME) scheme doesn’t contain subsidy for personal cars,” he said and added that “If somebody is going to buy this car without any infrastructure in the country and at a pretty high price because there is no support of any kind, I can launch but what is the purpose?”

When asked about the battery manufacturing plant that Suzuki Motor (Japan) is working on along with two other Japanese partners, Bhargava said the battery manufacturing facility was meant only for hybrid vehicles.

Published on October 24, 2019

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