Skoda unlikely to bring electric cars in India anytime soon, hints India MD
Czech auto manufacturer under the umbrella of Volkswagen AG, Skoda is unlikely to bring its electric cars to India anytime soon. The premium carmaker believes the Indian market is not ready yet for electric cars as the cost acquisition for such vehicles is high, as compared with internal combustion engine-powered models.
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According to Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, the economies of electric vehicles don't work in the mass segments. He said that to make electric cars viable for India, the battery prices need to come down to an extent that they could compete with internal combustion engine-powered cars. Boparai told that such a situation in India is required few more years to be developed.
Skoda India is gearing up to launch the Kushaq SUV in July this year. The automaker that sells models like Rapid and Superb India, has also decided to stay away from diesel engines for the Indian market. Instead, it will focus only on petrol-powered cars in the Indian market.
Talking about the shift towards petrol engines, Boparai said that with the transition to BS-VI emission norms in 2020, it doesn't make sense to go for diesel technology. He also noted that the automaker's BS-VI petrol engines are fun to drive with enough torque and power assurance.
Talking about the electrification of its vehicles in India, Boparai said that the German automobile group is committed to electrification globally and it has already taken several steps in other markets. "Those steps will get replicated here when either incentives are sufficient or the costs have come down," Boparai added.
However, while Skoda or Volkswagen will not bring electric cars to India as of now, the premium car brand Audi will launch models like e-Tron and e-Tron GT in the country in 2021. Also, the Porsche Macan is another electrified car the group will bring to India in 2021, said Boparai.
Skoda aims to launch four new cars in India this year, including Kushaq and the new Octavia, over the next 12 months, as part of the Volkswagen group's India 2.0 Project, which targets to make the group vehicles premium affordable cars in the country with an investment of 1 billion euro. Skoda has been given the task to spearhead the strategy drive since June 2018.