Maruti Suzuki to road-test 50 electric vehicles in India from October

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car maker, will start road-testing 50 electric vehicles, a top official of parent Suzuki Motor Corporation said on Friday at the MOVE Global Mobility Summit in Delhi.

Osamu Suzuki, chairman and chief operating officer, Suzuki Motor Corporation said, “We will start road-testing 50 electric vehicles in India from next month for developing easy-to-drive vehicles in Indian traffic conditions.”

Maruti Suzuki has committed to launch its first fully electric car in 2020 in India. The company has tied up with Toyota Motor Corporation, one of world’s biggest car makers, for sharing of electric and hybrid vehicle technology. “We would be launching our first fully electric car in 2020”, added Suzuki. At present SMC does not have an electric car on sale anywhere in the world and the India launch in less than two years will mark its debut in the segment.

In July, the 88-year old chairman had asked the company’s executives to target sales of 1.5 million electric cars a year in India by 2030 through its subsidiary Maruti Suzuki.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other top government officials, and heads of global automotive companies attended the MOVE summit.

Toyota’s bet

Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, who attended the Summit, said the company is working towards popularising electric vehicles for the Indian market. The Japanese giant is working for not only developing electric and hybrid vehicles but also has proposed participating in development of electric mobility infrastructure.

“Toyota has enormous know-how in electric vehicle technology. We want to accelerate popularisation of EVs in 2020. We will make electric all Toyota models by 2025. Electric and fuel-cell vehicles will together cover more than 1 million units, he said

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“In India, Toyota is making efforts to promote electric vehicles. We are working here with Suzuki for electric vehicle and hybrid. We will also support the government of India in electric mobility infrastructure  development,” he added.

Osamu Suzuki also mentioned the need to simultaneously develop and promote hybrid and CNG-powered vehicles alongside electric vehicles. Presently, Maruti Suzuki does not have a full hybrid model in its line-up but is relying on Toyota to develop the technology. But it has a range of seven CNG-powered cars.

Korean car brand Hyundai has also promised to launch three vehicles in India powered by electric and hydrogen. The company will start selling its first fully electric, locally assembled model in India next year.

Euisun Chung, vice chairman, Hyundai Motor Company said, “We will launch a hybrid, fuel cell and three smart electric vehicles in India. This will include a hydrogen-powered SUV too”.


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