Japan's Suzuki Motor to invest $1.3 billion in India plant for EVs: Report
In a development that could massively bolster transition towards electric vehicles (EV) in the country, Japan's Suzuki Motor is reportedly planning to invest as much as $1.3 billion into the Maruti Suzuki factory in the country in order to manufacture EVs and batteries. Maruti Suzuki is the largest car maker in India and its entry into the EV space could potentially galvanize the affordable battery-powered passenger vehicles space here.
Reuters, referring to reports in the Japanese media, highlighted that Suzuki Motor may establish India as a base for EVs to cater to local demand which may rise in the times to come. Kenichi Ayukawa, MD and CEO at Maruti Suzuki India Limited, had previously suggested that the Suzuki plant in Gujarat could possibly be developed as an EV hub.
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The Indian EV space at present is dominated by electric two and three-wheelers. While there are plenty of options in the electric car space, almost all of these are in the luxury segment with a price tag of around ₹1 crore and over. Tata Motors has a firm grasp on the ‘affordable’ EV space with the Nexon and Tigor electric models. But while companies like MG Motor and Hyundai have confirmed more affordable EV models for the country, Maruti Suzuki has thus far remained tight-lipped about its plans.
There have been reports about Maruti Suzuki testing WagonR electric model and units of the same have been spotted on trial runs as well. But Maruti Suzuki has previously said it would enter the EV space only when it feels it can play the big volume game. “Maruti Suzuki is the leader in the passenger vehicle industry, and it fully intends to have leadership in EVs. But it is important to understand EV penetration will only happen in India when conditions become such that consumers can buy it," RC Bhargava, Chariman of Maruti Suzuki India, had said last year. Bhargava had also said that selling electric cars in India is not easy due to its high costs. (Read the full report here)
Maruti Suzuki currently sells petrol and petrol-CNG models in the country only, having ditched diesel engines a few years ago.