Maruti is testing no less than 50 WagonR Electric hatchbacks across India as India’s largest car maker prepares to enter the electric vehicle segment next year. A report on Autocar suggests that the Maruti WagonR Electric will be one of India’s least priced electric cas with a starting price of just Rs. 7 lakhs. That would make the WagonR Electric quite affordable for most people looking at a hassle free city car.
But will it be practical?
Well, the answer to this question lies in the battery range that the WagonR Electric will offer. The same report we referred to earlier states that the WagonR Electric will be able to do over 200 kilometers on a single charge. This kind of range is more than sufficient for most cars such as the WagonR, which are primarily used within the city. So, a daily range of 200 kilometers will be enough for most buyers except those who are in the cab business, or for that matter regular highway users.
Also, the WagonR Electric will have the ability to offer abour 75 % to 80 % of the total battery range with a charge of just 40 minutes. This means that the car will be able to offer 150-160 kilometers of range with just a 40 minute charge, another point that bolsters the practicality bit of this electric hatchback. The Indian government is planning a charging station every 25 kilometers across the length and breadth of highways here. These charging points will also have fast charge outlets that allow cars to be recharged to about 80 % in under an hour. These factors are likely to make one of India’s first affordable electric cars – the Maruti WagonR EV – a solid option for buyers.
How will Maruti manage to price the WagonR Electric at just Rs. 7-7.5 lakhs?
FAME II, or the second edition of Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles scheme. The Indian government is working on the final details of the FAME II scheme, which will offer large subsidies on electric cars so that buyers quickly make the shift from petrol and diesel engined cars to eletric cars.
Under the FAME II scheme, nearly 25 % of the car’s cost could be subsidized by the Indian government and various state governments. This is a reason why the Maruti WagonR Electric – which was originally anticipated to have a price tag of about Rs. 10 lakhs – could finally end up costing about Rs. 7 lakhs, ex-showroom. Also, road tax for electric cars are likely to be waived off, making the on-road price only slightly higher than the ex-showroom price.
There are more high range electric cars ready for launch…
Apart from the WagonR Electric, whose 200 kilometer battery range will make it an ideal city car, there are multiple high range electric cars in the works. Mahindra will launch the XUV300 Electric by the end of 2020. The XUV300 Electric will offer a range of up to 400 kilometers per charge in the extended range version. The regular version will offer a range 300 kilometers per charge.
Hyundai is also readying up the Kona Electric SUV for launch, and will assemble it locally through the completely knocked down (CKD) kit route. While the Kona electric SUV is likely to cost at least Rs. 20 lakhs, it’s also a high range electric vehicle with 300 Kms of range per charge. MG Motor – a new car brand with Chinese ownership – will launch the eZS electric SUV later this year.