Toyota Kirloskar, according to newspaper reports, said that it is considering setting up a separate legal entity to manufacture electric and hybrid cars believes that poor charging infrastructure may delay the launch of such vehicles.

The automaker has also ruled out any plans to withdraw internal combustion engines in the country. In 2017, Toyota had tied up with Suzuki to offer affordable electric and hybrid small cars for the Indian market.

Currently, Toyota’s second plant at Bidadi near Bangalore is running at about 40 per cent of the capacity because of the slowdown in the auto sector. A newspaper report had said that the carmaker is looking at setting up a separate legal entity for the manufacture of hybrid and electric cars.

Sources in the company said that unless there is a charging infrastructure in place, it will be difficult to launch passenger EVs in the country. “EVs will be hugely successful for short distances,” sources said. The vehicle costs could go up significantly once BS-VI engines are launched next year, sources added.

Complete overhaul of current models

In an earlier interview with this newspaper, a top official of Toyota Kirloskar had said that the company is set to taper off production of its Etios sedan and Liva hatchback ahead of the introduction of BS-VI norms. He had also said that the road ahead for the carmaker’s popular models, the multi-purpose Innova and the high-end SUV Fortuner is uncertain. The production of Innova and Fortuner is expected to be reduced after the end of the festival season.

Etios and Liva are currently being manufactured at Toyota’s second plant, running at 40 per cent of its capacity of 2.1 lakh units. The first plant with a capacity of one lakh units manufactures the Innova and Fortuner models.