As the Indian government is pushing for rapid transformation to emobility, various automakers have come forth to express their concerns and challenges regarding the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in India. Even India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki is not so certain about the process.
Sharing his views on the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem of India, Maruti Suzuki’s chairman RC Bhargava, told a leading publication that the emobility in India still needs two to four years to gain prominence and become popular among customers.
Bhargava told Mint that the India’s infrastructure will have to improve significantly. These improvements and changes need to be aimed at building roads, charging infrastructure and transmission of power to handle emobility in India. He added that the infrastructure development will lead to an overall increase in the size of the economy, in turn, increasing the wealth in the society as well.
Talking about the pricing of vehicles, both electric and fuel-run, Bhargava added that special attention should also be given to the affordability of vehicles as the sector can’t grow if people are not able to afford it.
Previously in September 2019, the senior executive director (engineering) of Maruti Suzuki India, CV Raman, said that the cost of EV in India and the lack of charging system is going to be a hindrance when it comes to adoption of EVs in the country.
Raman told PTI, “It is going to be difficult to make a good value proposition immediately unless the cost comes down substantially.” He gave the example of Wagon R electric, which costs more than the fuel run version of it.
Even though Maruti Suzuki was adamant to launch Wagon R electric by September 2020, the company changed its stand in October 2019. The company has now pushed the launch of the EV to 2021.
The company said that the EV technology needs a little more time before coming out as a feasible option for the customers. It stated that the lack of charging infrastructures makes EVs impractical for long distances.
Even German automakers Mercedes-Benz and BMW have expressed similar concerns regarding the Indian EV ecosystem. Mercedes Benz’s CEO and managing director, Martin Schwenk, this month, said that the Indian EV ecosystem is still at a nascent stage, even though it’s getting new entries in the market.
Both companies have not ruled out the possibility of launching an electric vehicle in India. However, they have both decided to wait it out until the EV ecosystem is developed further.