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Last Updated : Sep 09, 2019 04:12 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Hyundai to supply affordable electric vehicles to Ola by 2022

Hyundai will even look to invest in producing and procuring electric vehicle batteries from India in association with a local partner

Swaraj Baggonkar @swarajsb

Hyundai Motor India will begin supplies of ‘affordable’ and ‘mass market’ range of electric vehicles to India’s ride-hailing giant Ola from 2022-23.

These vehicles, which are tailor-made for Indian buyers, will be based on a new vehicle platform that is aimed at keeping cost of manufacturing low and making them affordable.

The vehicle, which will be sold to commercial buyers (like Ola) and to personal buyers, could be priced below Rs 10 lakh.

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Hyundai will even look to invest in producing and procuring electric vehicle batteries from India in association with a local partner.

Speaking to Moneycontrol, Seon Seob Kim, Managing Director and CEO, Hyundai said, “Once we develop the mass market electric vehicle it will become our solution for Ola. We are looking at 2022 as the likely timeline for launching that EV, depending upon the industry and infrastructure which needs to be ready. Hopefully, it should be priced below Rs 10 lakh.”

Hyundai-Ola investments

In March, Hyundai and its sister concern Kia Motor Corporation made their biggest combined investment commitment to date with planned investments of $300 million in ride-hailing platform Ola.

Kia specialises in hatchbacks and SUVs.

The entities have agreed to ‘co-create solutions to operate and manage fleet vehicles’ for Ola, which aims to have two million partners, or drivers, by 2022, up from 1.3 million at present.

Ola currently runs a fleet of electric three-and four-wheelers manufactured by Kinetic Engineering and Mahindra Electric. The company, which currently runs electric vehicles in Nagpur, aspires to have one million electric vehicles by 2021 across all segments.

India foray

Hyundai launched its first battery powered vehicle Kona in India in July priced at Rs 25.3 lakh (now at Rs 23.71 lakh after reduction in the GST rate to five percent from 12 percent). This heavily imported vehicle clocked 150 buyers in less than a month after its launch despite one being able to buy two Hyundai Cretas, India’s largest selling sports utility vehicle.

“Our eventual target will be the mass market EV that is priced much lower and which also has a more optimum range that will be offered to customers. We are in the process of developing those vehicles,”Kim added.

Battery manufacturing plans

Cost of the battery in an EV makes up 50 percent of the cost of the vehicle. Thus, Hyundai will likely explore battery production like its peers in India to keep costs down.

Suzuki Motor Corporation will be supplying batteries to Maruti Suzuki from a Toyota plant in Gujarat starting 2020. Mahindra said the company is open to partnering with global players to set up a lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant

“We should look at battery production also in India along with partners,” Kim added.

Kim, however, declined any collaboration with Hyundai’s sister concern Kia Motors, which is a rival for the Korean company, having entered India with a launch (Seltos) in the very segment where Hyundai is the leader (Creta).

“Hyundai and Kia will stay independent even for electric vehicles. They will remain 100 different from each other,”Kim added.

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First Published on Sep 9, 2019 12:49 pm
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