Maruti Suzuki has planned to launch their first small electric vehicle based on the new-generation WagonR. The new EV is expected to be showcased in the 2020 Auto Expo in February. The full specifications of the electric cars motor, power figures, speeds and battery type are not yet known. But, speculations are that the WagonR based EV model is likely to have a real-world range of around 130 km on a single charge compared to the Tata Tigor EV which has an ARAI tested range, of 142 km.
The WagonR EV will support a DC Quick charging system with a charging time of 1 hour, for up to 80% battery juice and an AC powered charging system is likely to take 7 hours to fully replenish the batteries. Maruti Suzuki is also expected to install quick charging stations around the country as potential buyers will be repelled due to lack of it. In recent developments, Suzuki has already invested in a battery manufacturing plant, in Gujarat.
One key factor in the success of EV sales is going to be its price. The conventional petrol-powered WagonR is priced at INR 4.29 lakh ex-showroom, Mumbai and the EV is speculated to be priced around INR 12 lakh which is very expensive for a small hatchback.
Though the Government of India applies 12 percent GST on electric cars as compared to the 28 percent GST on its petrol counterparts the Government of India is expected to further subsidize tax levied on eco-friendly electric vehicles as the same has been extended to the commercial vehicle applications under the FAME II incentive scheme. The FAME II incentive scheme offers incentives to manufacturers who invest in developing electric vehicles. Government of India has announced that INR 1,000 crore will go into development and installation of charging stations in India, as India has only 350 charging stations as compared to over 2 lakh charging stations in China.
Will you buy a INR 12 lakh rupee small electric car or stick to the conventional petrol powered vehicle?