Kia sees India as future EV hub, but lack of incentives for buyers as roadblock
After launching EV6, its first electric vehicle in India, Kia has said that the country has the potential to be an EV hub in the future. However, there are several challenges still that pose a roadblock to make it happen. On the sideline of the EV6 electric crossover launch, Kia India said incentives for EV buyers in India is still much less than what some of the other countries have on offer. The Korean carmaker thinks this aspect alone could lead to slower adoption of electric vehicle in India.
Tae-Jin Park, Managing Director and CEO at Kia India, was quoted by PTI saying, “The government policies are very important...some of the other countries provide some incentive to the EV buyer but in India, there is no such incentive for the buyer in the personal segment. That is why I think it will take some time to expand the EV market in India."
Despite the challenges, Kia praised the Centre for its efforts to push electric mobility in India. However, Park said the country needs to work on the EV charging infrastructure too to make people shift to electric vehicles sooner. Lack of charging facilities, coupled with range anxiety, are considered two of the biggest factors why EV adoption in India has been slow.
"There needs to be standardisation of charging infrastructure to expand the EVs...and the other one is how we can localise more in India as half of the cost is battery. How and who will be going to produce the battery cells and not just assemble..," Park added.
Kia feels all this can change by 2025 if action to address these issues are taken as early as possible. Kia too is now looking to localise EV production. Park said: "We are starting with EV6 and we are also confirming a localised EV in 2025. We are also looking very carefully at which models could be brought here...It is not finalised yet." The company has announced that it will drive in an India-centric electric Recreational Vehicle, or RV, within three years.