Is the country ready for a big shift to­wards elec­tric cars?

In­dia is set to drive a huge shift to­wards elec­tric cars by 2047. We high­light this mar­ket and list ex­cit­ing elec­tric mod­els that will be launched in the next few years

Business Traveller (India) - - CONTENTS - WORDS DHIRAM SHAH

Late last year, the In­dian govern­ment an­nounced an overly op­ti­mistic goal of 100% elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of all cars man­u­fac­tured in In­dia by 2030. How­ever, the plan was later scrapped and a more re­al­is­tic goal of 30% by 2030 was put in place. The lack of in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially pub­lic charg­ing sta­tions, and high ini­tial cost are two of the big­gest im­ped­i­ments for the growth of the Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle (EV) mar­ket in In­dia. The BNEF re­port states that only 2000 high­way-ca­pa­ble elec­tric cars were sold in 2017. How­ever, the num­ber is set to jump to 30,000 units by 2022, thanks to the launch of new mod­els planned for the next few years.

Only two all-elec­tric car mod­els are cur­rently on sale, both by Mahin­dra & Mahin­dra. The au­to­mo­bile com­pany en­tered the EV mar­ket early by ac­quir­ing Reva Elec­tric Car Com­pany. It’s also the only In­dian com­pany to par­tic­i­pate in the all-elec­tric For­mula E rac­ing cham­pi­onship. Tata is the other In­dian man­u­fac­turer which has heav­ily in­vested in the R&D of elec­tric cars and has plans to in­tro­duce sev­eral mod­els in the com­ing years. On the con­trary, hy­brid cars have been on sale in In­dia for sev­eral years and slowly gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. Cars like Honda Ac­cord and Toy­ota Camry are now only avail­able in hy­brid vari­ants in the country.

Some of the most pop­u­lar hy­brid cars in the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, in­clud­ing the Toy­ota Prius and BMW i8 sports car, are also avail­able in In­dia, while all the new Lexus cars be­ing brought to the country are hybrids. Volvo is another brand which is bet­ting big on elec­tric and hy­brid cars and of­fers its XC90 full-size SUV in the hy­brid vari­ant in In­dia. How­ever, the num­ber of all-elec­tric and hy­brid car mod­els in In­dia is go­ing to sub­stan­tially in­crease in the next two years. Here are six ex­cit­ing EVs and Plug-in Hy­brid Elec­tric Ve­hi­cles (PHEVs) sched­uled to be launched in the country be­fore 2020.


Porsche will launch the third-gen­er­a­tion Cayenne in In­dia by the end of this year, and the Ger­man au­tomaker plans to add the E-Hy­brid vari­ant to fur­ther ex­pand the large-sized SUV’s port­fo­lio in In­dia. The Porsche Cayenne E-Hy­brid will be brought to In­dia as a Com­pletely Built Unit (CBU). The hy­brid SUV is pow­ered by a 3-litre V6 en­gine that pro­duces 340 hp along with an elec­tric mo­tor ca­pa­ble of mak­ing 136hp. The Cayenne E-Hy­brid has a range of 44km and a max­i­mum speed of 135kmph in the pure elec­tric mode.


Mahin­dra is the only au­tomaker to of­fer all-elec­tric cars in In­dia and the com­pany plans to fur­ther ex­pand its line-up of EVs in the next few years. The man­u­fac­turer is all set to in­tro­duce an elec­tri­fied ver­sion of its com­pact SUV, the KUV100, by the end of this year. Called the e-KUV100, the EV has a range of over 140km and will be of­fered with fast charg­ing as an op­tional ex­tra which can charge 80 per cent of the bat­tery in less than an hour. The elec­tric com­pact SUV was show­cased at this year’s Auto Expo and has been seen test­ing on the roads. Mahin­dra is yet to of­fi­cially re­veal the EV’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions and launch date. mahin­


Hyundai plans to in­tro­duce the all-elec­tric ver­sion of its Kona com­pact SUV in In­dia next year. Although Kona isn’t Hyundai’s first EV in the com­pany’s in­ter­na­tional line-up, it will be the Korean au­tomaker’s first ever elec­tric car in In­dia. The Hyundai Kona is the first of the new breed of af­ford­able EVs and has a Tesla-like range. In in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, the Kona EV is avail­able in two dif­fer­ent bat­tery con­fig­u­ra­tions: an en­try-level 39.2 kWh bat­tery pack with a 350km of range and a higher ca­pac­ity 64 kWh pack with a 500km range (both un­der Euro­pean Driv­ing Cy­cle). Hyundai might bring the elec­tric SUV in lim­ited num­bers through the CKD (com­pletely knocked down) route.


Maruti Suzuki In­dia is one of the com­pa­nies which is bet­ting big on elec­tric cars in In­dia and al­ready has two hybrids on sale in the country. The man­u­fac­turer is in the process of bring­ing more hy­brid mod­els to In­dia. One of the first to hit the In­dian shores will be the Maruti Suzuki Swift Hy­brid, which was show­cased at the 2018 Auto Expo. The hy­brid hatch­back has been on sale in Ja­pan since 2017 and is pow­ered by a 1.2-litre petrol en­gine paired to an MGU-E (mo­tor gen­er­a­tor unit - elec­tric). It is ca­pa­ble of run­ning on pure elec­tric power, but only for short dis­tances and un­der low load con­di­tions.


This year’s Auto Expo, like most other car shows across the world, re­volved around elec­tric and hy­brid cars and French au­to­mo­bile com­pany Re­nault show­cased the per­for­mance-fo­cussed Zoe e-Sport at the mo­tor show. Though it might never go on sale in In­dia, the stan­dard vari­ant of the Zoe EV has been seen test­ing on In­dian roads and is ru­moured to be launched in the country late next year. The stan­dard Zoe EV is pow­ered by a 41kWh bat­tery that gives it a re­spectable driv­ing range of 400km (Euro­pean driv­ing cy­cle). A stan­dard 7kW charger takes 8-9 hours to fully charge the bat­tery, but a quick charger can re­plen­ish 80 per cent of the charge in just 65 min­utes. re­ VER­DICT:

Ma­jor au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers, tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies and even oil pro­duc­ing gi­ants like Shell have made huge in­vest­ments in the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of cars, while buy­ers are in­creas­ingly be­com­ing more en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious, help­ing the tran­si­tion from com­bus­tion en­gines to green mo­bil­ity to hap­pen quicker than anyone an­tic­i­pated. With EVs and hy­brid cars be­com­ing more af­ford­able than ever be­fore and a long list of bat­tery-pow­ered mod­els com­ing to the country in the next few years, In­dia is fi­nally start­ing to make pos­i­tive strides to­wards a green and sus­tain­able fu­ture.


Nis­san LEAF is one of the high­est sell­ing EVs in the world; how­ever, lack of proper in­fra­struc­ture for elec­tric ve­hi­cles in many coun­tries of­ten proves to be the big­gest con­straints. Nis­san’s e-Power hy­brid sys­tem is the an­swer for such mar­kets. It doesn’t have a plug-in socket and uses a petrol en­gine as a gen­er­a­tor to charge the bat­tery pack. Nis­san is cur­rently test­ing the Note e-Power hy­brid hatch­back in In­dia and is eval­u­at­ing the mar­ket for a pos­si­ble 2019 launch. The Note’s 1.2-litre, three-cylin­der petrol en­gine is used as a range ex­ten­der for the 80kW (108hp) elec­tric mo­tor that drives the front wheels. Nis­san claims the car only uses 1 litre of petrol for ev­ery 37km of dis­tance cov­ered. nis­


The So­ci­ety of In­dian Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers (SIAM), the apex body rep­re­sent­ing lead­ing ve­hi­cle and en­gine man­u­fac­tur­ers, pre­dicts new ve­hi­cle sales in the country at 100 per cent pure elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2047, with the fol­low­ing road map:

JJJJAll new ve­hi­cle sales for in­tra-city pub­lic trans­port fleets to be pure elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2030

Forty per cent of new ve­hi­cle sales in the country to be pure elec­tric ve­hi­cles by 2030

Sixty per cent of new ve­hi­cle sales in the country to em­ploy greener tech­nolo­gies like hybrids and other al­ter­nate fu­els by 2030.

'Make in In­dia’ : The In­dian au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try also aims to be­come a lead­ing global hub for de­sign, man­u­fac­ture and ex­port of pure elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

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