Renault HBC could be priced aggressively against competitors like Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Hyundai Venue
Renault India will be launching its first electric vehicle in the domestic market in 2022 and it will focus on the affordable and mass-market segment. The central government has already sanctioned Rs. 10,000 under the second phase of FAME scheme in an aim to provide subsidies for EV development such as battery manufacturing and establishing charging infrastructure.
The launch of the affordable zero-emission vehicle was confirmed by Venkatram Mamillapalle, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Renault India. While expecting substantial support from the government authorities, Renault is also collaborating with private companies to set up a definitive ecosystem according to him.
The ecosystem is developed with support from a team in Paris and he said his company “will compete like hell (on the cost side) on electric vehicles in India, more than anybody else”. He further quoted “We will also bring ‘halo’ or high-end products in the EV segment…”. However, Renault’s immediate focus is on launching one new product every year until 2022.
The company has long been stated that it wants to double its market share in India and following the debuts of the Triber modular vehicle and facelifted Kwid, a compact SUV based on the Kwid’s platform with high local content is expected to be introduced in the sub-four-metre segment. Mamillapalle commented that his bet is only on the sub-4m volume segment as well.
Codenamed HBC, it will reportedly sit on CMF-A+ architecture as the Triber and it could take power from an uprated version of the 1.0-litre SCe turbocharged petrol engine with BSVI compliance and is connected to either a five-speed manual or a five-speed AMT transmission. It will more likely be priced aggressively as the Triber to undercut the competition.
Some of the expected features are a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, steering mounted controls, voice commands, adjustable headrests, reverse parking sensors and camera, etc. It will compete against Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra XUV300 in the bunched up space.