South Korean carmaker Hyundai recently launched its first long-range EV for Indian markets in the form of Kona SUV. Although electric vehicles went on sale in India since more than a decade, they were not practical enough to replace regular petrol-diesel cars. However, with new emission norms in place and growing problem of climate change, the advent of EVs is inevitable and the industry is preparing for the same. India's largest automaker Maruti Suzuki is also preparing for an all-electric future and is all set to launch the electric version of its best-selling WagonR hatchback in 2020. Now, a leading newspaper has claimed that Suzuki Motor Corporation is planning to build a new EV based on the Ertiga MPV.
For the unacquainted, this will be the second electric vehicle in India from the manufacturer after WagonR. The report suggests that the MPV can hit the road in India by the end of next year or even 2021. Some sources within the company claim that Maruti is working on bringing more electric cars in India in the next few years. Spurred by recent government policy changes, Suzuki in now eyeing the EV space of the country that has some of the most polluted cities in the world.
The new Ertiga based EV might be quite different in size than the regular Ertiga available in India at present. While the car might also carry a different nameplate, the company is yet to confirm any of these details. If made, the Ertiga EV will take on the MG e-ZS SUV that is scheduled to be launched in the country by the end of 2019. Though MG e-ZS and Ertiga EV will have different body designs and will be in different segments, they can be priced could to each other.
Apart from Kona and upcoming MG e-ZS, several manufacturers have lined up many other electric cars for launch in India. These include Tata Altroz EV and Nissan Leaf. Tata might also launch Tigor EV for passenger segment. The entire EV landscape in India has received a boost from the recent general budget for 2019-2020. The incentives for electric vehicles now include income tax rebates for electric car buyers and exemption from customs duty on imports of lithium-ion cells. Both these steps will encourage other manufacturers to launch EVs in the market.
Coming to Ertiga, Maruti Suzuki will also launch a new 6-seater version of the popular MPV in August in India. It will be much more luxurious than the current models of the MPV and will also sport a few design changes to set itself apart from regular models. The engine options, however, will remain the same as on the ongoing Ertiga models.