With the trend of more and more cars being electrified in India, auto brands including Hyundai are trying to introduce more affordable Evs in the country.
Hyundai may be the first auto brand to introduce an all-electric SUV (the Kona) to the Indian auto market. Nevertheless, for the affordable EV segment, the South Korean carmaker has to make many efforts since Tata Motors has attained a clear advantage of being the first mover with the Nexon EV which has recently been launched. Mahindra also does not bear to give in with the eKUV100 launched at the Auto Expo 2020. The Mahindra XUV300 EV is also in the lineup and is expected to be launched soon by the home-grown automaker.
The Hyundai Kona EV is the first pure-electric SUV in India.
In the meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki also has an intention of launching the WagonR EV at the end of 2019 or at the beginning of 2020. Hyundai is also planning to launch an affordable EV in India. The South Korea automaker has set a launch timeline of 24 to 36 months for a mass-market EV for India and is planning to debut the concept model at the Auto Expo 2022. To commit to this plan, Hyundai India has started speeding up its EV’s localization drive.
The taxes on the CKD and CBU vehicles have witnessed an increase recently, making a product with a high localization level highly competitive in the market. Hyundai is discussing with some potential future EV providers like LG Chem to supply lithium-ion battery packages for its mass-market EV. The local team with the support from Namyang R&D centre has started researching to work out the price point, optimal range and other important parameters of this EV. We can expect that the carmaker’s first under-INR-10-lakh EV for the Indian auto market is an electric compact SUV, likely to be an electric version of the Hyundai Santro, and will compete against the Maruti WagronR EV, Mahindra eKUV100 and the Tata HBX EV.
Currently, the Hyundai Kona Electric is the only EV in the carmaker's lineup
Managing director of Hyundai Motor India, SS Kim, commented that the brand is searching for many partnerships to build up a manufacturing ecosystem to make sure that EVs become common and affordable vehicles in India. He also stated that future EVs by Hyundai will be localized at the same level as its current traditional mass-market ones, which is over 90%. If everything goes according to plan, Hyundai will become one of the first automakers to heavily localize their EVs to make them competitive in India and set a good example for other brands to follow.