Aiming to cut down the vehicular emission as well as fuel import bills, the government of India is setting up an ambitious plan to switch over to all electrical vehicles by the year 2030. The Indian car manufacturing industries are gearing up towards meeting this challenge and help in reducing the carbon footprints. Korean car manufacturer, Hyundai has also indicated that it will conduct a feasibility study to introduce a mini SUV into India by the middle of next year as per a report published in Times of India dated 7th July, 2017. The company is also looking at the option of introducing electric version of its popular Grand i10 and i20 compact cars.
As per the Times of India news item, the Hyundai, India MD Y K Koo told that the Electric cars are a focus for the company and it will go by the government’s policy and norms. He added that it’s better to implement electric cars on lower-segment products like the Grand i10 and i20 as small cars are more convenient, more easy, and more practical for electric than bigger-sized vehicles when it comes to the Indian market.
The thrust being put by Hyundai towards electric cars will exert competition pressure on other Indian car makers such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki. Currently, Mahindra & Mahindra is the biggest player in the electric vehicle segment with cars and small commercial vehicles. It is also given to understand that Tata Motors have already begun developing electric vehicles in it’s portfolio and is looking towards introduction an electric version of its popular Tiago hatchback.
Hyundai which has electrical car technology globally will consider the next course of action only after conducting the feasibility study. In Koo’s opinion, it is difficult to migrate the entire fleet to electric by the government’s target but emphasized that many key segments can be upgraded. Koo added that the public transport, ride-sharing and cab aggregators, and some private customers can surely be shifted to electric. The Hyundai India chief said the government should offer “more benefits” to facilitate transfer to electric vehicles. “Also, what is needed is a robust (support) infrastructure like charging stations for electric cars.”
Under the present GST regime introduced from July, 2017 in India, the government had mandated the lowest duty (in automobiles category) of 12% for electric cars, while slapping a 43% duty on hybrids, raising it from 30% in the pre-GST era. This can offer major boost to the growth of electric vehicle segments in India in the coming years.
It will be very interesting to watch at the developments in the electric vehicle segments as other European nations also have come with ambitious plans to gradually switch over to electric vehicles.