South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia Motors have tied up with Indian cab aggregating app Ola to promote electric cars meant specifically for India. Hyundai and Kia Motors have invested over Rs 2,000 crores in Ola. Hyundai has also earmarked Rs. 2,000 crores to develop new electric vehicles for the Indian market. These electric cars are likely to be shared with Kia Motors, which will sell it with restyling and a separate brand identity. Hyundai launched its first electric vehicle in India a couple of weeks ago in the form of the Kona electric SUV. The Kona has become a big success with over 120 bookings within 10 days of launch. The new electric car Hyundai is putting together for India is likely to be a compact SUV that’s similar sized to the Kona. The new electric car from Hyundai will come with high levels of localization, and is likely to be priced close to the Rs. 10 lakh mark, making it quite affordable for most
S.S. Kim, Managing Director and CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd said,
Hyundai Motor is transforming into a mobility solutions provider from and automobile company. The group is developing an electric vehicle platform for mass market in India. We develop cars for all and not just for ride hailing cab operator Ola where Hyundai has invested $300 million.
In all likelihood, the new affordable electric car that Hyundai and Kia Motors are developing for the Indian market will also be inducted into Ola’s fleet. Ola has already begun running electric cars in its fleets in Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi. The Mahindra Verito Electric and the Tata Tigor Electric are the two electric vehicles that are plying under the Ola brand in these cities. In the coming years, many more electric vehicles are likely to be inducted into Ola’s fleets across India as the country moves towards vehicle electrification in a big way. The Indian government has called for tenders, inviting companies and entreprenurs to set up over 1,000 battery charging stations across the country. The government is also waiving off road tax and registration charges on electric cars, apart from charging a lower rate of GST on these vehicles. The government has also announced income tax benefits of up to Rs. 2.5 lakhs for those who take loans to buy electric cars.
While there is a slew of measures being taken to make electric cars more popular in India – a top 5 car market in the world – battery charging infractructure is yet to catch up. Also, car makers are yet to come up with affordable and practical electric cars that can actually do 300-400 Kms on a single charge. 2020 could be the year when we see a slew of electric cars with practical ranges getting launched in India.