The chairman of Maruti Suzuki, RC Bhargava, has just said that the market for internal combustion engined (petrol and diesel-powered) cars will continue to exist in India even after electric vehicles start making their presence felt. Here are a few comments he made about this matter to ET Auto.
Even when EVs will come into the market, for a long time the bulk of the cars which would be produced will be the conventional internal combustion (IC) engine cars. The car market is growing by 8% to 10% ever year, indicating that the number of IC cars being produced will not decline, indicating that the numbers of conventional cars will keep increasing.
Maruti is planning to launch its first electric car in 2020. The company has tied up with Toyota and Denso (A Toyota owned parts maker) for the technology required to develop EVs for the Indian market. The company is also looking at introducing hybrid cars across its model range in the coming years.
From the entry-level Alto hatchback to the premium Ciaz sedan, almost every car sold by Maruti in India will have some form of hybrid power in the next 5-6 years. The cars that already don’t have a hybrid system will get hybrids in the next full-model change. The hybridzation process will start in the next couple of years.
Presently, the only hybrids that Maruti sells in India are the Ertiga and Ciaz Diesel Hybrids. Even these are mild- hybrids and not full-hybrids. Eventually, Maruti may shift to full-hybrids as hybrid represent the perfect bridge between controlling fuel consumption and pollution while not having to deal with recharging batteries and worrying about electric car charging infrastructure. In fact, Toyota, which is Maruti’s partner for the electric car foray continues to bet big on hybrid cars not only for India, but for markets around the world.