Hyundai Mo­tor In­dia seeks clar­ity on elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of shared-mo­bil­ity fleet

Says the in­tent is right, but man­u­fac­tur­ers need time to pre­pare for the shift

The Hindu Business Line - - NEWS - S RONENDRA SINGH

South Korea’s Hyundai Mo­tor that has a sub­sidiary in In­dia on Tues­day said that the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of ve­hi­cles in In­dia may be a step in the right di­rec­tion, but there needs to be more clar­i­fi­ca­tion from the gov­ern­ment.

The Cen­tre had re­cently an­nounced to elec­trify 40 per cent of the fleets of shared mo­bil­ity apps such as Ola and Uber by 2026, in or­der to make the en­vi­ron­ment bet­ter.

Hyundai Mo­tor In­dia (HMIL) had re­cently an­nounced a part­ner­ship with Ola as part of which some of its mod­els like the Xcent and Grand i10 will be­come part of the ag­gre­ga­tor’sfleet.

“We have heard no of­fi­cial de­ci­sion till now. It (elec­tri­fi­ca­tion) is a right action, but the tim­ing could be too early right now. We need more clar­ity and time to pre­pare for it...not only Hyundai, but ev­ery­one (other man­u­fac­tur­ers) too re­quire time for the prepa­ra­tion,” Seon Seob Kim, Manag­ing Direc­tor and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, HMIL, told re­porters here.

Kona EV launch

Mean­while, the com­pany will be launch­ing its Kona EV next month in In­dia, which is be­ing as­sem­bled at its fac­tory in Chen­nai.

The com­pany ex­pects to sell around 100 ve­hi­cles in the first year, Kim said adding that since the econ­omy of scale is not yet ready in In­dia, pro­duc­tion of the EVs will de­pend on the de­mand.

For the con­ve­nience of the Seon Seob Kim, MD & CEO, HMIL

buy­ers, Kim said the Kona will come with a home charger and there are charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture be­ing set up at some of the deal­ers too.

But, ul­ti­mately it is the gov­ern­ment that has to make it buyer-friendly in terms of charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture or sub­si­dies.

Fuel cell push

For in­stance, the Korean gov­ern­ment is giv­ing 50 per cent sub­sidy on fuel cell EVs. For in­stance, the fuel cell EV that it sells costs $35,000 (orig­i­nal price $70,000) after the 50 per cent sub­sidy. He also said HMIL is not com­mit­ted on the EV be­ing de­vel­oped for Ola or any other ride hail­ing app right now, but in fu­ture var­i­ous projects un­der col­lab­o­ra­tion may oc­cur.

The com­pany re­cently in­vested $300 mil­lion in Ola and also an­nounced to lease some of its cars in part­ner­ship with ALD Au­to­mo­tive In­dia.

Glob­ally, Hyundai has com­mit­ted to bring out 38 cleaner ve­hi­cle so­lu­tions glob­ally in­clud­ing hy­brids, elec­tric and fuel cell ve­hi­cles by 2030.

The com­pany has al­ready started sell­ing fuel cell car 'Nexo' from late last year in Korea and have sold around 1,600 ve­hi­cles so far.

It plans to pro­duce 7,00,000 fuel cell sys­tems an­nu­ally by 2030 in­clud­ing 5,00,000 units of fuel cell EVs by then.

The writer was in Korea on the in­vi­ta­tion of Hyundai Mo­tor In­dia

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