As the Indian car market scenario is changing rapidly and soon the new stricter BS-VI norms will be implemented in the Indian market. India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki is working to launch electric vehicles in the market and the brand is already testing as many as 50 electric WagonR on the Indian roads to evaluate the commercial viability of the electric cars in India. The WagonR EV could cost as much as Rs 12 lakh, which more than double of the price of the top-end Maruti Suzuki WagonR petrol version.
As per Economic Times, Maruti Suzuki will be ready with their first electric car launch next year. The WagonR EV will be ready for launch next year. However, the cost will remain a major concern for the buyers of electric cars in India. Currently, the all-new WagonR, which was launched in the Indian market sometime back costs between Rs 4.2 and Rs 5.7 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi.
RC Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki India said that that the extreme price of electric cars may put them beyond the reach of the common man and small car buyers. It should be noted that the government offers a tax rate of 12% on the electric cars as against 28% on the regular internal combustion engine powered cars in India. However, there are no incentives for the electric car buyers under the second phase of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) initiative.
With the arrival of the BS-VI norms in India, the price of the small cars are expected to rise. The small diesel engines powering the cars are expected to be most affected with the implementation of the BS-VI regulations in India. Maruti Suzuki has already announced that they will stop manufacturing diesel power cars post the implementation of the stricter emission norms and will resume the manufacturing only if there is a demand for such cars in the market.
Manufacturers have given a mixed reaction to the electric vehicles in the Indian market. While Tata and Mahindra are currently the only two manufacturers that offer electric vehicles in the Indian market. However, Tata is yet to offer electric vehicles to private car buyers. Manufacturers like Hyundai is also planning to launch electric cars in the Indian market soon. Hyundai will launch the all-new Kona later this year.
Apart from the electric vehicles, Maruti Suzuki is also expected to utilise the hybrid technology in its model line-up in the future. However, the Indian government is yet to offer any incentives to the buyers of hybrid or electric cars, which will make the vehicles extremely high priced. In international markets and developed countries, electric cars are promoted by providing various kinds of incentives to the buyers. A similar model will be needed in the Indian market to ensure the proper adoption of electric vehicles in the market.