2021 may be a significant year for India's EV movement with launches either speculated or confirmed.
More affordable options and better infrastructure are crucial for making EVs popular.
Electric cars are buzzing in several countries across the world with 2020 seeing an increased emphasis on making these options more affordable for mass adoption. Several countries like France, Germany and the United States have rolled out finance schemes which aim to bolster sale of battery-powered vehicles while many others like the UK, Japan and South Korea have announced firm datelines to be free from greenhouse gas emissions. The EV movement in India may be a tad slower than in many other countries but there is no doubting the intention of ushering in such vehicles here.
From MG ZS EV to Mercedes-Benz EQC, there have been key launches in the EV field in India this year but experts believe that the momentum for now is only in the e-two-wheeler and e-three-wheeler segments. The launch of more affordable products in the e-car segment, ramping up of support infrastructure and a program like vehicle scrappage policy - or something similar, could be the three pillars on which the EV movement gathers pace here.
As such, here's taking a look at electric cars that could galvanize the EV revolution here in India.
First showcased at Auto Expo 2020 back in February, the Mahindra eKUV100 will be launched in 2021. It is a significant move from the Indian car maker as its affordable price tag - around ₹8.25 lakh (ex showroom) - could propel the EV movement among masses.
Pawan Goenka, MD and CEO, had said in late October that work is on to ensure delivery of the vehicle to dealers in the next three quarters.
The SUV has been equipped with a liquid cooled battery pack that supports fast charging of up to 80% in 55 minutes, auto transmission, fast charge and remote connections.
Maruti WagonR electric:
There has been no confirmation from Maruti Suzuki about going the electric way anytime soon. In fact, speaking to HT Auto late November, Shashank Srivastava - Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) - had said that the EV products require a strong support base first.
Speculations in the past, however, have suggested that WagonR could become the first of Maruti cars to receive a battery pack if and when the company decides to go down this path.
It could pave the way for electric cars to find mass adoption, also because Maruti is the country's largest car maker and enjoys a solid reputation among buyers.
Zoe has been a massive hit in several European markets and has mounted a massive challenge to Tesla. Its small proportions, affordable price tag and decent per-charge range have helped Renault reach out and connect to urban buyers.
Although Zoe has reportedly been spotted testing in India, Renault has not indicated any possible plans of bringing it here yet. The EV, however, makes it to this list because it could be a great option for what the Indian car buyer looks at, or would want in an EV.
Much like Zoe, Volkswagen ID.3 has found a whole lot of success in the European market. In fact, the EV managed to race past Zoe and Model 3 in sales in the month of October.
"The reason why the ID.3 is a success could be down to its relatively affordable price," said Felipe Munoz, a Turin-based senior analyst for Jato Dynamics. “We would expect the ID.4 to further VW’s success with electrics."
Unfortunately, Volkswagen has said that the Indian market is not yet ready for its electric cars and while it is unlikely that ID.3 will come here any time soon, it does have a lot of potential for success here.
Volvo's biggest launch in India in 2021 could well be the XC40 Recharge. The Swedish company is betting big on the Indian car market and in an interview to HT Auto back in October, Charles Frump - Managing Director at Volvo Car India - had said that the company is committed to bringing its entire EV portfolio to India.
The XC40 Recharge is scheduled to touch down in India in the second half of 2021.
Notable mentions: Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed it is bringing in its i-Pace to India while Audi India too has plans of driving in its e-Tron here at some point in the new year.