Mercedes Benz India, the Indian arm of German luxury automaker, is contemplating development of electric vehicles at its production facility in Chakan, Pune. Being the country's leading luxury automaker, it expects that India will emerge as one of the prominent markets for EVs in the coming years as the government is focusing more on non-combustion technologies while putting in efforts to tackle the rising pollution across top cities. For those asking, the company launched the S63 AMG a couple of days back in the Indian market at Rs 2.55 Crore (Ex. Showroom, Delhi).
"As the Indian market moves towards electrics, we will be investigating local manufacturing here. As part of our long-term perspective (on India), we want to manufacture here," Mercedes-Benz India VP (sales & marketing) Michael Jopp told TOI. "When it happens, we would certainly manufacture them at our plant in Chakan, alongside the combustion engine vehicles." As per the sources closer to these developments, Mercedes Benz is closely monitoring the Union Government's electric vehicle policy as it chalks out its plans for the segment. Jopp, however, maintained that there are still a lot of 'challenges' that need to be get rid of before local production can be started in Pune.
The challenges include provision of an "eco-system" from the government's side, that would include having a robust charging infrastructure to power the electric vehicles. The company also expects the government to be lenient on import duty on electric cars initially before the automakers achieve sufficient volumes which would encourage them to invest more in local manufacturing. "For a certain period, the import duty on electric vehicles should be lowered. This would prompt us to launch them soon at reasonable prices." Mercedes Benz would launch a new electric sub-brand 'EQ' globally from next year which will witness a a strong line-up of new clean-energy vehicles.