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Maruti Suzuki to put electric vehicle plans on hold?

Nizam Shaikh
Written by Nizam Shaikh

According to a press report, Maruti Suzuki may drop their electric vehicle plans for India as the mass market may not still be in favour of the electric vehicles. The brand is also likely to wait until battery manufacturing facilities and charging infrastructure is developed in the country which will lead to the economic viability of electric cars. 

At the 15th edition of the Auto Expo 2020, in a global premiere, Maruti Suzuki showcased its homegrown coupe-styled SUV Concept car called the Futuro-E. While the brand did not reveal any powertrain details, the futuristic concept car in its production avatar is speculated to come with a hybrid engine or a fully electric powerplant as the Concept was introduced under the ‘Mission Green Million’ theme which is the brand’s commitment towards eco-friendly vehicles which also include CNG fuel vehicles. 

Several domestic and international carmaker showcased their electric vehicles at the Auto Expo 2020 which certainly shows that car manufacturers around the world are slowly beginning to shift focus on electric mobility solutions along with Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles. Maruti Suzuki themselves have been testing the WagonR based small electric car in India, which was expected to be introduced in 2020. 

An earlier report suggested that the brand is likely to delay this launch timeline based upon market trends and high manufacturing costs as well as lack of charging infrastructure. New reports suggest that the brand could have put the electric vehicle plans on hold until either the changes in battery cost allow the electric cars to become cheaper or if financing structures are improved in India which will help the customer with liability. 

In terms of taxation, the electric vehicles benefit from low GST rate which is set at 12% as compared to 28% on ICE cars. Under the FAME II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles) scheme, the Govt. of India offers a subsidy for localising the electric vehicles but even after FAME II subsidy the average entry-level EV cost around the INR 10 mark which is almost twice as much as the petrol-powered counterpart.