The ‘Smart EV’ project has been given green signal and works have already been underway; the dedicated EV platform could be shared with Kia
Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) launched the electrified Kona yesterday in the domestic market and is priced at Rs. 25.3 lakh (ex-showroom, introductory) with an estimated range of 452 km on a single charge using 39.2 kWh battery pack.
It will be a technology demonstrator for the South Korean brand initially and reportedly act as a precursor to the mass market EV being planned for India. With the central government offering notable exemptions under the Budget 2019, Hyundai has received the nod for what has been called as the “Smart EV” project from HQ in Seoul.
The first zero-emission vehicle will be upon us in the next two to three years according to HMIL’s Managing Director SS Kim. The eco-friendly models will be underpinned by a dedicated EV platform proposed for the domestic market and is believed to be shared with the sister concern, Kia that will step into the local scenes through the Seltos next month.
Another big takeaway is that Hyundai Motor Group will place India at the heart of the action globally, as it has been assigned with the task of taking up the challenge as a production hub for the emerging markets. The proceedings regarding the Smart EV project are well underway with a lot of inputs gathered for an India-specific electric vehicle.
Moreover, the investments made along with Kia in Ola for about 300 million USD will come in handy in determining requirements for “shared mobility platforms”. The main challenges Hyundai will face, just as other manufacturers looking to step foot into the EV space, are localisation and stamping the vehicles with affordable pricing.
Maruti Suzuki’s maiden EV for India based on JDM-spec Wagon R will launch next year while electric vehicles are well on the agenda in the partnership between Mahindra and Ford. MG’s first electric vehicle, the eZS, will debut this December as well. The transition towards electric mobility is well and truly on but gradually!