The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki will launch multiple electric vehicles models in India in its bid to catch up with competitors and become a leader in the segment, despite not being present there at present, according to the company’s new Managing Director and CEO Hisashi Takeuchi.
The company, which plans to launch its first EV model in 2025, also plans to produce EVs from its factories in future when the demand for EVs picks up in the country. To start with, the first EV will be rolled out from Suzuki Motor Gujarat’s plant.
“We are a little behind our competitors in introducing the (EV) model to the Indian market, but we see that still, the market demand for those EVs is limited. Actually, sales of EVs in the Indian market are still very, very limited,” Takeuchi said here in an interaction.
He further said, “But that does not mean we are doing nothing about EV. We have done a very extensive test of our EV utilising our existing models and putting those batteries and motors and everything into this existing model. We have been doing this test for more than a year with multiple cars in the Indian environment so that we are sure that our EV technology will be good in the environment, which is very, very tough in India.” Takeuchi was responding to a query on whether Maruti Suzuki India has given away the first mover advantage in the EV segment to competitors like Tata Motors.
As per FADA, Tata Motors led the electric passenger vehicle segment in 2021-22 with retails of 15,198 units and a market share of 85.37 percent in the vertical. Total electric passenger vehicle retail sales last fiscal stood at 17,802, up over three-fold, from 4,984 units in FY21, the latest data from the industry body revealed.
The government is pushing for EV sales penetration to rise to 30 percent for private cars by 2030. Citing industry experts that EVs could account for 10 percent by 2030, he said when the volume expands “of course, we would like to be a leader in the Indian automotive space, which is not just limited to IC (internal combustion) engines but all passenger cars. Also in the EV space, we would like to become the number one and the leader in the Indian automotive space.” For this, Takeuchi said, “We have been doing tests and developing models prepared for India specification. That it’s not just one. We said by 2025 we will introduce (an EV) but there are plans (for others) to follow. I’m sure that we can be very strong in the EV space also when we introduce our products into this EV market.” He confirmed that multiple EV models would follow in due course once the company launches its first EV in 2025.