Hyundai India puts Ioniq 5 on display, says import duty cut may boost EVs
Hyundai Motor India Limited on Tuesday inaugurated its new corporate headquarters in Gururgam and on the occasion, put up the much fancied Ioniq 5 on display here. With the Ioniq 5 was the Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell SUV as well but any move towards actually bringing these vehicles to the country may well depend on factors ranging from demand to government support and a possible cut in import duty.
Ioniq 5 EV has been generating a whole lot of interest in select markets where it has been launched. A rival to the Tesla Model 3, it has a 72.6kWh battery at its core and has a stated range of around 480 kms. More importantly, it is a strong statement of intent from Hyundai that it is ready to embrace electrification in a bigger way than ever before.
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So is HMIL also looking at driving in the Ioniq 5 to India?
Company officials underlined that the Ioniq 5 units at its corporate headquarter was for display only and that they are continuing to study the feasibility of bringing new battery-powered options here. SS Kim, MD and CEO at HMIL, also underlined the several factors that would be crucial to this end. "The EV movement is strong in the two and three-wheeled segments but will be more gradual in the four-wheeler segment. We are studying feasibility and much would depend on customer preference," he said, adding that affordability and charging infrastructure remain a key concern for buyers. "We have heard that Tesla is seeking some duty cut on imports of CBUs. So that would be very helpful for the OEMs to reach some economy of scale in this very price competitive segment."
Kim also added that government support could be pivotel in making electric cars more popular. "We need demand from the market. Support from government is vital with more subsidies for even the private customer," he said. "Till the time companies are able to localise EV components and other infrastructure, EV imports could help generate some market in the country."
At present, the options in electric passenger vehicle segment is quite limited in India even though the likes of Mercedes, Jaguar and Audi have driven in their battery-powered models via the CBU route. All of these EV models are priced around ₹1 crore or above and therefore likely only for a niche audience.
In contrast, there is a big thrust in the electric two-wheeler space with several players vying for attention and state EV policies bringing down prices to almost the same levels as petrol-powered options.