British automobile maker MG Motor is looking to leverage ecosystem approach for its plans to explore electric vehicle industry in India.
MG Motor India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaba told PTI that with its upcoming electric SUV MG ZS EV, has said it is looking to go “beyond tokenism” with its foray into the segment. He said that the company is aiming to develop the entire ecosystem around electric cars in India.
Chaba added that the company is partnering for charging infrastructure for battery lifecycle management and is also exploring a subscription model for buyers. The development comes ahead of MG Motor’s plans to launch its electric SUV MG ZS EV, which it plans to price around INR 25 Lakh.
MG ZS EV’s batteries are being manufactured at the state-of-the-art SAIC-CATL battery plant in Liyang. The 44.5 kwh battery offers a driving range of around 350 kms on a full charge. The company is also open to setting up a battery assembly plant in India in two years. “The plant will cater to the MG ZS EV as well as other products we look to introduce in the country,” he added.
MG Motor’s ecosystem approach is a much-needed idea for electric vehicle players today. Due to lack of charging infrastructure combined with high-pricing, the electric vehicle ecosystem in India is having a tough time in finding adoption. Hence, Chaba is being realistic with the company’s plans. “Look, we are aware EVs are not a mass segment in India as of now. Initially, we are looking at sales of 2,000-3,000 units per annum,” he added.
At the same time, the government is now doing its best to achieve its EV ambitions. In Union Budget 2019, the government has also acknowledged the need for a reliable EV infrastructure in India. In her maiden budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a scheme inviting global companies to set up mega manufacturing plants in sunrise and advanced technology areas including lithium storage batteries and charging infrastructure.
From reducing GST rate on EVs to allocating INR 10K Cr outlay for the EV-focussed FAME scheme, the government has been played every card to promote EV adoption in India. NITI Aayog had earlier proposed that only electric vehicles should be sold in India by 2030. For this, it called for a complete electric transition for three-wheelers by 2023 and two-wheelers with an engine capacity of less than 150 CC by 2025.
The EV revolution in the country has come to the runway and is continuing to grab the attention of Indian and global industry watchers.