It seems that Maruti Suzuki’s plan to enter the electric mobility segment is finally materializing. In a recent statement to CNBCTV18 house, Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director of Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said that the company is working on its plans to introduce its first-ever all-electric vehicle by 2025.
In addition to confirming the launch of Maruti Suzuki’s first-ever EV, Srivastava also said that the company is eyeing a share of 8-10 per cent for electric vehicles in its total sales by 2030. Srivastava believes that by 2028-2030, about 6 million passenger vehicles will be sold in India annually, out of which 10 per cent will be electric vehicles.
According to Srivastava, the biggest roadblock in the progress in the plans of electric mobility is the limited charging infrastructure at the moment. Apart from the bigger metropolitan cities, fast-charging stations are almost negligible in smaller towns and villages. Given that the majority of the sales volumes of Maruti Suzuki comes from these regions, a lack of charging infrastructure is causing hindrance in the electric mobility project at the moment.
The high cost of batteries is a hurdle
Another roadblock that Srivastava indicates towards the slower development of electric vehicles by Maruti Suzuki is the high costs of batteries in the current times. Around 50 to 55 per cent of the total cost of an electric car is accounted for by its battery – a percentage which Srivastava feels should go down for the required push for EVs. For making smaller electric vehicles in the compact segments, which are the fortes of Maruti Suzuki, Srivastava feels that battery costs should go down significantly.
To meet with the rising input costs of materials, Maruti Suzuki already takes measures such as minor hikes in the prices of its vehicles from time to time, as the most recent hike of 9 per cent across its range.
However, Srivastava refrained from making any further comments on the development of the new electric vehicle, including its specifications and segment to which it will cater. This revelation by Shashank Srivastava comes just a few days after Suzuki Motor Corporation announced an investment of Rs 10,440 crore for developing new electric vehicles and batteries. Out of this investment, around Rs. 7,300 crore will be invested in the development of the company’s first-ever electric car, which will roll out by 2025. The remaining Rs 3,145 crores will be invested in the development and production of new-generation batteries for electric vehicles and the construction of a vehicle recycling plant.