Maruti Suzuki is contemplating introduction of the Wagon R based small electric car in 2020 in the Indian market. The company is carefully evaluating the challenges ahead such as high pricing, lack of infrastructure and charging stations. Although, the Wagon R EV will be fully ready by next year but the launch will solely depend on the desire of the buyers to pay more for the small electric car. Just so you know, Maruti Suzuki has been testing 50 units of the Wagon R electric for quite sometime in the country.
As per Maruti Suzuki MD Kenichi Ayukawa's interaction with ET Auto, economic viability will be a major factor as the small electric car might cost as high as Rs 12 Lakhs because of the present regulations. The petrol variants of the Wagon R are priced in a range of Rs 4.20-5.70 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi). Ayukawa further said that the company is currently doing a thorough analysis and research regarding a commercial launch. Maruti Suzuki veteran and Chairman RC Bhargava told that it will not be wise to think that businesses are manufacturer driven instead they are driven by the customers. He added that electrifying the Wagon R could take its price way out of reach of customers.
Currently, electric vehicles are taxed the lowest at 12 percent as compared to petrol powered cars which are placed in tax slab of 28 percent. Earlier the Government rolled out the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles) initiative which provided subsidiaries and incentives to private buyers on the purchase of electric vehicles. However, as of now, the Government has stopped these incentives to private buyers. Meanwhile, in other news, several other automakers are planning to launch their electric vehicles in India. Going a step ahead, Hyundai has even announced the launch of Kona Electric SUV on July 9, 2019 with price starting around Rs 20 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom).