To promote clean fuel vehicles in India, Suzuki Motorcycles is planning to launch an electric two-wheeler soon. This comes after Maruti Suzuki’s announcement of launching electric cars in the Indian market. Suzuki’s global Chairman Osamu Suzuki met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017, when the Indian government set a deadline for making India an electric vehicle only nation by 2030. The plan to launch and manufacture an electric two-wheeler was a result of this meeting, where the company announced an investment of Rs. 1,700 crores for a battery-manufacturing plant in Gujarat.
The Japanese company has formed a team of five people who will spearhead the plan of Suzuki Motorcycle India’s entry into the electric automobile market. The Indian arm of the Japanese manufacturer has already sent a request to its headquarters in Japan to approve the development of the electric scooter in India.
Satoshi Uchida, managing director of Suzuki Motorcycle India, told ET Auto,
“The cost of an electric scooter is still high when compared to the conventional scooters. We are currently studying as to how can we offer an electric scooter that is accessible and addresses the range issue. We should have an electric scooter for India by 2020.”
There is no information available about the upcoming product. Developing an electric scooter from scratch in two years looks challenging. However, Suzuki has wide expertise in two-wheelers, and it also showcased an electrified Let’s scooter in 2011. Suzuki will take inputs from their previous learnings and will develop an all-new scooter for India. The new scooter will join the likes of Ather S340 in the Indian market. Ather launched the all-new scooters in India after they were in development for a long time.
The Let’s electric version was developed when the electric vehicle technology was still young. The scooter came with a 100-volt battery and had a range of 30 km on full charge. However, with high-capacity batteries available at present, the range of the new scooter is expected to be on par with that of its competitors. As of now, it is not known if Suzuki will develop an all-new model or will use one of the current scooter’s body to develop an electric version.