The EV version of a regular petrol-powered hatchback priced at Rs. 5 lakh can cost around Rs. 9 lakh to Rs. 12 lakh
Electric Car is going to be the future in the automotive industry as governments want to reduce pollution. India is also moving in the same direction but there are many roadblocks to be cleared before it becomes popular in the budget segment. R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki asked: “A Rs 5-lakh petrol car may become Rs 9-lakh in the electric version, Would you buy it then?”
The price of small electric cars could be up to Rs. 12 lakh because of the current tax structure according to Maruti Suzuki MD Kenichi Ayukawa. Currently, the goods and service tax on electric vehicles is at 12 per cent compared to 28 per cent for small petrol hatchbacks but the cost of manufacturing petrol cars is low.
Even though the government has announced that with FAME-II scheme, both private and taxi buyers will get subsidy, it is not yet implemented and it could prompt more private buyers to opt for electric cars over regular petrol powered models. Another problem industry is facing is the lack of charging infrastructure.
This problem is also being faced by most of the other countries as the Indian government has taken some initiatives to increase charging infrastructure. One of the reasons why private buyers are sceptic about EVs is because of charging stations as it will be a big problem, especially while travelling across rural places or long distances.
Maruti is currently setting up a lithium-ion battery plant in Gujarat with Toyota and it could help the company to lower the price as importing components for electric vehicles is expensive. R C Bhargava said that the future of clean mobility is yet to be decided whether it comes from electric technology or hydrogen cars.
India’s largest car manufacturer announced earlier this week that the company will discontinue all diesel engines by April 1, 2020, as upgrading current diesel engines to meet BSVI norms is really high on cost and they are betting on petrol engines along with EVs to drive growth. Maruti will introduce Wagon R EV next year in India.