Electrics may not form 1 per cent of cars by ’24: Hyundai – ET Auto

NEW DELHI: Hyundai Motors India president S S Kim has said that adoption of electrics in the Indian car market will be slow and may not cross 1% of overall sales in next three years. This is despite the special benefits and tax breaks that the green technology is receiving from the government.

High cost of lithium-ion batteries and constraints on affordability and single-charge running range are among concerns that the industry faces, Kim said, while pointing out that Hyundai’s work to develop an all-new affordable electric for India is continuing at a strong pace.

The sales of passenger vehicles (cars and SUVs) in India was around 2.5 million units in 2020, and 1% of this would be 25,000 (actual sales of EVs were only around 3,500 units). Even if this market grows to around 4 million units by 2024, the sales of electrics would be less than 40,000 units according to Hyundai’s estimates.

Kim said that the current cost of lithium-ion battery is expensive, and if the companies need to pack in greater running range, they need more capacity inside batteries. “We want substantial driving range, but the consumer also wants the cars to be priced reasonably.” Through consumer clinics, the company has received a feedback that the minimum range for an EV should be at least 200km on a single charge. Hyundai is currently present in the electric market through Kona, which is a model from the company’s global line-up and is priced at Rs 23.7 lakh (ex-showroom).

The annual market for electrics is minuscule, and is limited to just a few thousands. The biggest player is homegrown Tata Motors that sells an electric version of Nexon SUV as its flagship even as it is working on more green models like Altroz hatch.

Hyundai is understood to be investing around Rs 1,000 crore for a ‘Made for India’ affordable EV. The company may explore a partnership with group company Kia for this initiative as the latter is also looking at domestic production of greens to make them affordable and competitive. Kim said the idea is to have electric models that are more appealing in price and driving range. “We should offer solutions that are affordable and reasonable. We feel that electrification will be the main pillar of our operations in the future.”


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