Hyundai’s upcoming affordable electric vehicle for the masses could have mini SUV or premium hatchback body type; will be based on India-specific EV platform
Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) made a huge impact on the EV space by launching the Kona Electric last week with a price tag of Rs. 25.3 lakh (ex-showroom, introductory). Brought into the country via CKD route, the electric Kona is ARAI-certified to have a driving range of 452 km on a single charge and it can be replenished back to 80 per cent using a DC fast charger in just 57 minutes.
The first zero-emission SUV in India carries plenty of significance for the brand as it brings Hyundai firmly into the picture in terms of green mobility. Hyundai has made it no secret that the future is electric as the transition phase will lead to the company introducing 44 eco-friendly models by the middle of next decade besides 23 electric vehicles.
The biggest challenge faced by the mainstream manufacturers in the EV department is the localisation of battery components and the ability to slap down the associated costs involved in producing electric vehicles to price them competitively for the end-users. Firms like Maruti Suzuki, Tata and Mahindra are already reacting to the oncoming changes and the government’s tax exemption announced in the Union Budget 2019 had come as a welcoming boost.
Hyundai is no different as it is aggressively huge sum into its more affordable electric vehicle. A report surfaced on the internet suggests that Hyundai is investing Rs. 2,000 crore to develop the vehicle that could adopt mini SUV or premium hatchback or any other body type. Likely to cost around Rs. 10 lakh, the EV will be produced at Sriperumbudur facility for domestic as well as international markets like the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia.
Just as Suzuki’s Lithium-ion battery plant in Gujarat, Hyundai is looking at establishing its own battery plant in India. It is convening with electronic giants such as LG, Samsung SDI and SK Innovations and quite a number of Chinese companies regarding this matter. The affordable EV for the masses will be based on a dedicated platform that is specific to India.
With Rs. 10 lakh price point targetted, the eco-friendly vehicle could get a range of at least 200 km on a single charge to avoid range anxiety among Indian customers.