Maruti Suzuki India, the biggest carmaker in India, is planning to build electric vehicles (EVs) for the Indian market. This is in keeping with the plans of the government to sell only EVs in the country by 2030. It, however, is yet to provide a timeline for the process as such. The chairman of Maruti Suzuki, RC Bhargava, says that the government still lacks a clear roadmap on how it wants to go about these things and achieve what can be called an ambitious target at this stage. This is an important statement because a lot actually depends on the government.
As things stand now, the sale of these vehicles is negligible because of the batteries that are really expensive to say the very least. The high cost of the batteries has made the cars costly themselves. As such, these cars remain out of the reach of most buyers out there.
Bhargava has himself said that the company knows it will make EVs but it will not be able to provide a timeline as such regarding the completion of the same.
Does it have the technology?
One of the biggest questions that need to be asked at this time is whether Maruti is equipped technologically to build these vehicles.
Bhargava has pointed out that Maruti’s partnership with Suzuki will come in handy in this regard. This is why when the company plans to move ahead with the work it will get the technology from its Japanese partner. In fact, it has always been rather clear about this particular modus operandi.
Battery joint venture (JV)
It was during September 2017 that Suzuki announced it will start a JV with Denso and Toshiba to make lithium-ion batteries. It is supposed to invest INR 1151 crore and will set up production units all around the country. The batteries that are developed through this partnership will then be used in EVs made by Maruti Suzuki.
Bhargava, however, remains positive about the government’s plan to go completely electric in the next 10 years or so. It is also hopeful that it will be able to dominate the market for EVs just as it has done with the one for other vehicles. He has, in fact, proclaimed emphatically that as and when Maruti goes ahead with a plan it intends to be the market leader in that particular segment. This, in turn, bodes well for the people in India as they will look for several options as and when they choose to go electric.