Maruti Suzuki has indicated that the price of its new small electric car might start at Rs 12 Lakhs in the country. The company said that a small petrol car which costs around Rs 5 Lakhs might be priced as high as Rs 12 Lakh in the all-electric avatar. The country's largest automaker also cited lack of infrastructure and charging stations for the adoption of electric vehicles in the Indian market. For those asking, small petrol cars are placed in a Goods and services tax (GST) slab of 28 percent while electric vehicles are taxed at 12 percent.
R C Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki stated that the government intends complete electrification by 2030 by asking the OEMs to move towards electric mobility but it is not an easy task at all as there are a plethora of challenges hindering this effort. The foremost challenge is to develop affordable electric vehicles. “Just like there are cost escalation concerns when it comes to migration of diesel engines to BS6 emission norms, there are similar concerns over affordability with regards to electric vehicles,” Bhargava said on Thursday to ET Auto, adding, “The price of electrifying a small car could go beyond the reach of small car owners.” The Indian government has also not extended the FAME 2 benefits to private owners on purchase of electric cars.
Maruti Suzuki MD Kenichi Ayukawa was of the view that electric version of a small car may be priced up to Rs 12 Lakhs, considering the current regulatory regime and incentives that the government offers. Bhargava questioned the present set-up, saying, “A large proportion of car owners do not park vehicles at home, but outside. Where will they charge vehicles if they are electric? Where is the infrastructure?” Maruti Suzuki has already announced that it will discontinue all the diesel variants of its present vehicle portfolio in India from April 1, 2020 due to unavailability of a BS VI compliant diesel engine. The company has also raised serious doubts over the increased pricing of cars when offered with BS VI diesel engine.