Maruti Suzuki is gearing up to make a significant entry into the electric vehicle (EV) market with a new electric hatchback anticipated to hit the roads by 2026-’27. The upcoming EV is expected to take on Tata Motors’ Tiago EV, a current leader in the compact EV segment. Maruti Suzuki’s foray into the EV landscape aims to capitalize on the growing demand for electric vehicles in India.
The new small EV from Maruti Suzuki will be built on Suzuki’s eWX concept, which was unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show in 2023. This move is part of Maruti Suzuki’s strategy to electrify the compact vehicle segment and compete with the Tiago EV, known for attracting first-time buyers to the electric vehicle market.
Maruti Suzuki is investing over Rs 10,000 crore in localizing EVs, reflecting a commitment to making EVs more accessible to Indian consumers. The company has set ambitious targets, aiming to sell half a million EVs annually by FY31.
To avoid the pitfalls encountered with the Wagon R EV project, Maruti Suzuki is developing an all-new EV architecture, codenamed K-EV. Unlike its predecessor, the K-EV will not be based on an internal combustion engine (ICE) platform but will instead utilize a ground-up skateboard platform. This new platform, named YY8, is derived from the global Toyota 40PL platform.
CV Raman, Chief Technology Officer at Maruti Suzuki, emphasized that all future Maruti Suzuki EVs will be ‘born-electric,’ highlighting a departure from ICE-derived platforms. The key to meeting cost targets for the K-EV lies in achieving a high level of localization, potentially extending to the battery cell level. While details about the battery supplier for the K-EV are yet to be disclosed, Suzuki Motor already have partnerships for battery production for its hybrid models.
With the introduction of the Creta EV and the impending launch of the K-EV, Maruti Suzuki is strategically positioning itself to offer a diverse range of EVs at various price points. This approach aligns with the company’s objective of capturing a significant share of the EV market.
In the fiercely competitive entry-level EV segment, where Tata Motors dominates with the Tiago EV selling approximately 10,000 to 15,000 units annually, Maruti Suzuki aims to make a strong impact with its highly localized hatchback. The company’s commitment to investing in the Indian EV market, coupled with plans to introduce several electric vehicles over the next decade, reflects a long-term vision for sustainable mobility.
As electric car prices approach parity with internal combustion engine vehicles, Maruti Suzuki’s entry into the EV space seems well-timed. With government support, including a lower 5 percent GST for electric vehicles and benefits under the production-linked incentive scheme, the EV market in India is poised for growth. Maruti Suzuki’s strategic move into the electric hatchback segment is expected to contribute significantly to expanding the EV market in the country.