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Last Updated : Mar 15, 2018 12:32 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Exclusive | Maruti Suzuki to launch all-new car for its electric vehicle debut in 2020

Maruti Suzuki, India’s car market leader, will launch a battery-run electric car, which will be developed by Suzuki Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation under an alliance announced in 2017.

Swaraj Baggonkar @swarajsb
 
 
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The first all-electric car from Maruti Suzuki due for debut in 2020 will be a new car and not an electric version of any of its existing cars, a top company official has said.

Maruti Suzuki, India’s car market leader, will launch a battery-run electric car, which will be developed by Suzuki Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation under an alliance announced in 2017.

In an exclusive interaction with Moneycontrol, Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director, Maruti Suzuki India said: “Existing model will not have an electric option but future models will have them.”

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When asked if Maruti’s first electric car will be a new car, Ayukawa added, “I can say that may be in the current product portfolio we don’t have (the option); the future vehicles will not only be petrol-diesel powertrain, but also will have electric option.”

The Delhi-based company, which in December had said it would start a preliminary survey to gather details of what prospective buyers look for in an electric car, has started work on electric vehicles alongside its parent company.

Maruti Suzuki retails 15 models (11 through Arena and 4 through Nexa channel) across categories such as hatchback, premium hatchback, compact sedan, mid-size sedan and SUV. These models are powered by either petrol or diesel engines or a combination of petrol-CNG or diesel-electric (hybrid). The company is yet to develop a production-ready fully electric model.

However, the maker of Swift and Baleno had showcased the e-Survivor concept off-road sports utility vehicle at the Auto Expo 2018 concluded last month. The vehicle, which was first premiered at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, is a two-seater semi-autonomous SUV comprising electric or hybrid powertrain.

Maruti e-Survivor

Company officials have already said that pricing will be a key component for promotion of electric vehicles in the country and going by the current costs trends it will be difficult to price the first electric car below Rs 7 lakh. Still the company will benefit from its parent’s localization efforts.

Suzuki is constructing a Rs 1,151 crore plant in Gujarat under a tripartite alliance (with Toshiba and Denso) for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries. These batteries will be used by Maruti Suzuki as well as by electric cars supplied to Toyota Kirloskar sold by Suzuki.

Presently the Mahindra Verito, derived from the Renault Logan, is the only model which is sold with an internal combustion engine as well as with an electric powertrain option.

The base variant of the sedan with a diesel engine is priced at Rs 7.52 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) while the fully electric version is priced at Rs 10.3 lakh including the government subsidy under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme.

In a few months Tata Motors will launch electric variants of the Tiago and Tigor models, both of which are available in petrol and diesel options. The Tigor is presently sold only to the government-run agency Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) which uses them for ferrying government employees.

Mahindra e2o (formerly Mahindra Reva e2o) is the cheapest fully electric four-seater car priced at Rs 7.46 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai, post subsidy).

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First Published on Mar 15, 2018 12:32 pm
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