The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R EV is expected to enter India by 2020 and use a 72 V electric system; to spawn a Toyota-badged version
Suzuki and Toyota partnership has high regards for the future as both companies are sharing vehicles to mutually benefit each other from next year. Amidst much speculation, the association between the two Japanese giants has an undeniable importance as far as future technologies and electrification are concerned.
Leveraging each other’s strengths, Suzuki and Toyota are preparing to bring up a range of electric and hybrid vehicles for the domestic market. Four EVs are reportedly in the pipeline for debut by 2020-21 and they will also be part of cross-badging technique about to be followed from 2019.
Maruti Suzuki debuted its newly developed 1.5-litre K15B petrol SHVS powertrain in the facelifted Ciaz last month and it will gradually be used in other vehicles including Baleno and Vitara Brezza. A fully-fledged hybrid system will make its way into the Corolla sedan as well.
Apart from the mutual sharing of three hybridised models between them, the electric version of Wagon R currently in the works will also be part of the deal to have Toyota badge on it. The hybrid units will have power output between 12 V and 72 V, helping in improving fuel economy by 5 to 45 percent reportedly.
The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R EV could make its debut in the near future as a technology-showcase ahead of possible market entry in 2020. Said to be the first all-electric vehicle from the largest automaker in the country, it was expected to be manufactured at the brand’s Gujarat facility that likely sees increased investment to double up the total production to 3 million units.
However, the latest report suggests that a prototype line has been set up for the zero-emission Wagon R at Gurgaon plant and about 50 vehicles are produced already with testing being conducted in Bengaluru and Mumbai. The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R EV likely gets the 72 V electric system with lithium-ion battery capacity of 10-25 kWh, just as the Corolla.
On the other hand, the Vitara Brezza and Baleno are believed to use 12 V system initially as the stringent average fuel economy norms coming into effect in five years will force the alliance to upgrade the system with a much better system in the range of 48 to 72 V.
With battery costs coming down, potential for localisation will increase in the coming years and the two carmakers are looking to pounce on the lucrative opportunity. Denso Corporation and Toyota are confirmed to provide technological support for Suzuki in developing a compact, ultra high-efficiency powertrain as well.