India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki will start making its first affordable electric vehicle (EV) by 2020 based on technology from Japanese parent Suzuki Motor, Maruti Suzuki Managing Director Kenichi Ayukawa said.
The company and its parent are focusing on in-house capabilities but are also looking for partners to put in place the ecosystem for electric vehicles, he added.
Suzuki Motor has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s largest carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. for technical support. This partnership with Toyota, plus its own EV technology development, will help Maruti Suzuki to launch an electric vehicle 10 years ahead of India’s stated goal.
Ayukawa did not provide more details regarding which auto segment will be the first to introduce electric vehicles. A detailed market survey is still being conducted, he said. However, Maruti Suzuki’s first electric vehicle will probably have a power output of 25 to 35 kilowatts per hour, which is suitable for the compact car segment, and possibly priced below INR 10 lakh (USD 15,687), Economic Times reported.
India is Suzuki’s largest market. In Fiscal Year 2017, Maruti Suzuki cornered a 47.4% share of India’s passenger vehicle market.
“With market share shrinking in Japan, Suzuki does not want to lose the first-mover advantage during this transition to greener vehicles,” said V.G. Ramakrishnan, managing partner, Avanteum Advisors LLP.