Renault has multiple EV programs in progress for several countries including China.
Demand uncertainty and a lack of clarity over government’s assistance program are two main reasons why Renault, one of world’s leading developer of electric vehicles (EV), will go slow on its introduction in India.
Renault has multiple EV programs in progress for several countries including China where it is looking to launch the electric version of the Kwid mini car.
But, the French car maker which is in a revival mode in India, is keen to focus on getting its regular product portfolio in order under the mid-term plan before venturing into newer spaces, such as electric vehicles.
Speaking to Moneycontrol Venkatram Mamillapalle, managing director, Renault India said, “It is a matter of time and maturity of the technology for EVs to come to India. There is a regulation which is coming in FAME II but how well will it be accepted by customers we don’t know about it. ”
Mamilapalle, who took over on March 1, 2019, has promised to do four launches over 18 months, including those of two all-new products. This is done to revive the ailing India business and to double its market share to five percent.
Renault wants to focus of petrol and diesel engines at a time when its rivals including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and newcomer MG Motors are gearing up to launch battery-powered cars. At the 2018 India Auto Expo, Renault showcased the Zoe e-Sport Concept (compact electric car) which is on sale in Europe.
But, Mamillapalle has not ruled out the electric Kwid completely. When asked specifically if the launch of e-Kwid is off the table for India, Mamillapallle said, “Carlos Ghosn had spoken about the electric Kwid for China but for India yet. We still don’t know how we will come up with EV. Renault’s EV product range is huge and we are world number one in EVs. So based on the market we can play with EV two three years from now, how the competition comes. We have time to react and we will do it accordingly. We need to get the right product at the right price. Just because we have an EV we can’t throw it in the market.”
Renault unveiled the production version of the Kwid electric called K-ZE at the Shanghai Motor Show in China, which will be the first market for the car. Having a range of more than 220 kms on a full charge, the K-ZE can be charged up to 80 percent in less than an hour. The price of the car, though, has not been shared yet.
The government of India announced the second phase assistance programme for electric and hybrid vehicles through the FAME –II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) scheme.Though it set aside a budget of Rs 10,000 crore which is multiple times higher than FAME-I, the scheme does not provide subsidy for private cars. Besides lack of charging infrastructure, there is no eco-system to support the promotion of electric vehicles in India.