As we have already informed you, India's largest automaker Maruti Suzuki is already testing its electric version of WagonR tall-boy hatchback in the Indian market. The expected launch time for the electrified version of WagonR is supposed to be sometime at Auto Expo next year. However, the chairman of the Indian giant recently stated in an interview that initially the electric version of the car will only be available for large cab aggregators in India and also for government agencies. This will come as quite a shock to such early adopter private customers who were awaiting the launch of Maruti Suzuki's first ever electric car in the Indian market.
The reason stated behind this move of the brand is that the initial cost of adoption of electric cars for private customers is too significant and hence the company will be better off serving large customers. This also makes sense to a large extent as the charging infrastructure in the country is almost non-existent and not to say but the batteries of the cars are still very expensive and this would mean that the cost of operation of these cars would be very high. Even though the upcoming electric WagonR is a small hatchback, the average investment incurred by the large customers for this small car will be more than made up for in the long-time ownership of the vehicle. While the same cannot be called true for an average private buyer as the lack of charging infrastructure along with the heavy expense involved in replacing batteries if the need arises will be just too much for the average private car buyer. Although, this being said, the early adopters will still be slightly disappointed.
However, the upcoming electric WagonR will have a relatively low range when compared to something like a Hyundai Kona EV in the market. Then, the price of the WagonR too will be in the 10-15 lakhs range and considering that the Kona is priced above Rs. 20 lakhs, the compromise on the range of WagonR should not be that much of a bother. The Kona has already gained a more than enthusiastic response in the market and given this, the decision of Maruti Suzuki to sell the WagonR EV only to enterprise customers initially is a bit disappointing.
Although Maruti states that it is focusing on CNG fuel vehicles as of now, a similar kind of problem plagues the CNG market as well. Although some large cities have ease of CNG availability, a large part of the nation still lacks that. With Maruti Suzuki set to discontinue diesel engine cars in the market at least for the initial times next year, the company will have to focus on petrol, dual-fuel, as well as electric cars in the market in order to maintain its standing and sales figures in the market.