In a not-so-surprising turn of events, Maruti Suzuki’s new CEO and MD, Hisashi Takeuchi, has stated that the company will find it difficult to price electric vehicles under ₹10 lakhs in India. Maruti Suzuki is India’s affordable car manufacturer, and the company has been testing electric vehicles in the market for some time. Takeuchi also stated that Maruti intends to launch various EVs in the Indian market, with the first model arriving in 2025. This will most likely be followed by more EV vehicles in a variety of price ranges.
“If somebody should bring an affordable EV to the market, it should be Maruti Suzuki. But EV is still very expensive…as a part of the current technology, I think it is quite difficult to make a very affordable EV, maybe not so soon,” Takeuchi said. His point is that most EV technologies are still pricey, with the battery pack being the most expensive component. The company also thinks that there will be no significant price changes in component costs for at least the next three years.
The lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles in the country is Takeuchi’s next topic of emphasis. To reduce expenses, the company may choose for a smaller-sized battery, resulting in a lower range. To address this, the ideal way is to locate charging stations closer together. “If the infrastructure is everywhere, and wherever you go, there’s always a quick charger available then maybe a very small battery in a less expensive car can be marketed and sold. But right now the environment is not that ready. I think it will take more time,” he said.
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When looking at the options offered by Tata Motors, Maruti’s CEO acknowledged that the company is still lagging behind the competitors in this market. Maruti, on the other hand, is currently working on developing an EV system that can be used on a variety of platforms. The company’s next major difficulty is the localization of EVs. The automaker is presently working on making India-specific choices, such as making the chassis suitable for Indian roads and developing an all-weather battery pack capable of withstanding the country’s highest temperatures in the north.