The Korean giant, unlike its competitors, won’t set up a battery production facility initially
- Hyundai will launch the Kona Electric in India on July 9.
- According to Hyundai, local battery manufacturing will be feasible only if they can push 50,000 EVs annually.
- Other carmakers including Maruti Suzuki are already planning to localise battery manufacturing in India.
Hyundai will launch the Kona Electric in India on July 9. The SUV will come in through the CKD route and is expected to carry a price tag of around Rs 25 lakh in the country. The Hyundai Kona Electric will be the first long-range all-electric car, ahead of the MG eZS as the latter will be launched by December this year. Even though Hyundai is pioneering the long-range EV space in India, the brand will not be setting up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in India anytime soon. Hyundai has clarified that setting up a battery manufacturing plant is not ideal unless it can push out 50,000 electric vehicles annually.
Contrary to this, Maruti is already ahead of its competition as the brand is planning to set up a local manufacturing facility for battery packs, one of the most expensive components of an electric vehicle. Maruti has already announced its plans to set up a facility in Gujarat with Toshiba and Denso. The fact that Toyota owns Denso and given the partnership between Maruti and Toyota, these two manufacturers could also share the EV development together in the future.
The Indian scenario is vastly different from other developed markets, thanks to the lack of adequate infrastructure here to support fully-electric vehicles. Despite all the shortcomings, manufacturers are working on improving the scenario. The Indian government is also inviting tenders for a 50GW battery manufacturing plant. This comes in the backdrop of the centre’s recent announcement to race towards EVs by 2023. The Indian government wants every vehicle sold in India for commercial purposes to be electrically powered post 2026. It has also called upon cab aggregators like Ola and Uber to convert 40 per cent of their fleets to EVs by 2026.