Hyundai has recently launched the Kona electric and the brand is further planning to strengthen its foothold in the electric segment in India by launching another small electric vehicle which would be much more affordable than the present Kona electric, which comes with a price of INR 25.30 lakh ex-showroom. At this price, the Hyundai Kona will be out of reach for the masses and to fulfill the mass electrification plan, the electric cars must be in the buyers budget especially in a cost-sensitive market like India.
The brand seems to have identified the trend in the electric market and has plans to launch small electric vehicles which are likely to be heavily localised to gain benefits from the FAME II subsidy as well as to avoid heavy import taxes. Hyundai is planning to roll-out 25 electric vehicles by 2025 in the international market and some of them are speculated to reach our shores.
The Kona electric in India is brought via the CKD route in bits and pieces and assembled at the company’s plant in Chennai. The Kona also gets a few parts locally made such as seats and bumpers but it is not substantial enough, and for the mass-market electric vehicle, the brand plans to localise the batteries by investing in a battery manufacturing plant and develop an EV specific to the Indian market.
Many electric vehicles are set to take on the Indian roads such as – WagonR EV from Maruti Suzuki, the Tigor EV from Tata, MG’s eZS, the Mahindra eVerito and the eKUV100 slated for next year. The pricing on Hyundai’s small electric is likely to be around INR 10-15 lakh.
However, even though the brands and the government try to push the EVs along with healthy subsidies, the mass market acceptance is going to be very slow, and rather poor. The Indian market lacks EV infrastructure, and waiting for a car to get charged in emergency situations is not something that would please money spenders.