Even though the Indian market is going through a major slowdown, Hyundai has plans to expand its presence in India, including the EV segment
Hyundai has confirmed once again that it is working on low-cost electric vehicles for the Indian market. Currently, the South Korean carmaker only has one EV in its Indian lineup – the Kona EV. The electric SUV draws powers from a 39.2 kWh battery pack, and develops a maximum power of 135 PS and a peak torque of 395 Nm. The Hyundai Kona EV has been priced between Rs. 23.75 lakh to Rs. 23.94 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi).
Although Hyundai states that it has received a largely positive response for the Kona EV, the company understands the importance of lowering costs in order to enter the mainstream. The Kona is imported via the CBU route, and thus is quite expensive. The manufacturer is reportedly planning to manufacture its future EVs in India, to lower costs down.
S.S. Kim, MD and CEO of Hyundai Motor India, has revealed that despite the market slowdown, Hyundai’s plans for India remain unaltered. The company will be developing electric vehicles under the ‘Smart EV’ project, the first of which is expected to be a subcompact SUV, which will compete with the Tata Nexon EV and the upcoming Mahindra eXUV300.
The new Hyundai electric SUV won’t be based on the Venue. Instead, it will have its own unique platform, developed specifically for EVs. Although this would raise initial development costs, it will also ensure that the new electric vehicle won’t feel like a compromise. That said, the EV infrastructure of India will have to improve a lot before electric cars truly stop feeling like a compromise.
The Government of India is working towards building a sustainable electric infrastructure. There are plans to add electric charging stations all over the country, and the National Capital Region is slated to have the strongest EV infrastructure development in the near future.
Reports also suggest the new platform being developed by Hyundai will be shared by Kia as well. Also, even though the new EV platform is reportedly India-specific, it might help Hyundai spawn a few compact and subcompact EVs for a few international markets as well, like perhaps a few South Asian countries like Thailand or Indonesia.
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