Audi India on Thursday launched its maiden e-tron model on Thursday, as the German luxury carmaker prepares to meet the rising demand for electric cars in the country. Audi India is targeting 15 per cent of its vehicle sales in 2025 from the EV segment.
With prices from Rs 99.99 lakh to about Rs 1.18 crore, the model will be available in three trims and goes on sale from Thursday. Audi is the third luxury car maker in India to drive in an electric vehicle, with e-tron joining Mercedes EQC and Jaguar I-Pace.
“Under the e-tron brand, we are launching three electric SUVs beginning our electrification journey. With the three offerings, we have a proposition for every type of EV customer in the small but growing luxury SUV space,” Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Audi India, said.
To ease the transition to electric mobility, Audi is offering several benefits and packages, including after-sales, charging and ownership. This includes a three-year buyback. To be sure, this is the beginning of Audi’s EV innings in India, he said, pointing out that the company will come up with another EV model later this year.
The launches are part of strategy 2025 by which the company will have 15 per cent of its volumes coming from electric models, Dhillong said. Globally, Audi plans to transform itself into a pure electric car company and halt manufacturing of cars with internal combustion engines by 2033. The India plans are in line with that strategy, said Dhillon.
On a single charge, the e-tron can travel for up to 480 kilometres. To take care of range anxiety, Audi plans to set up 100 chargers in 75 cities. The owners can travel to the requisite charging points through the My Audi app. “We have tried addressing the entire value chain and go beyond offering just a model,” said Dhillon.
Audi will import these cars as a fully built unit and may assemble them locally once a certain volume is achieved. India imposes a duty of 60-100 per cent on imported cars.
Various state governments in the recent past have announced subsidies for e-cars, but only those within the price threshold are eligible for this subsidy. Take Gujarat’s EV policy for instance, to qualify for which the ex-factory price for electric cars should not be more than Rs 15 lakh. The price cap leaves most premium e-cars, including Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes EQC, MG ZS EV, out of its ambit.
But Dhillon is not complaining. According to him, a lower GST of 5 per cent on e-cars, exemption on registration cost and road taxes offers some relief and makes e-cars an attractive buy. Having said that, a rationalization on import duty on fully built e-cars will help in competitive pricing, Dhillong added.