Hyundai India is likely to start manufacturing electric vehicles in the country both for the domestic as well as other markets in South Asia. The revelation comes from Hyundai Motor Company’s vice chairman, Euisun Chung. He has reportedly said, “This (India) is really an important market for an automobile player; we can test our EV cars here, make them and export to markets like South Asia. It (the country) is a compact car market and can be given regional responsibility for exports.”
The move doesn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that the government sees a future for electric vehicles. While we still don’t have a clear EV policy yet, the government presses on the fact that alternate fuels and electric vehicles will drive the future in India.
Hyundai India has confirmed it will enter the EV passenger vehicle segment in the second half of 2019 with the Kona Electric SUV. The Kona Electric is touted to be India’s first EV with a range of around 250km. At present, the only EVs in the market are from Mahindra -- the e2o Plus and eVerito, both with a maximum range of under 150km. Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and MG Motor are other carmakers that are looking to enter the EV segment in India by 2020.
When launched, the Hyundai Kona Electric will also become the most expensive battery electric vehicle on sale. It will be launched via the CKD (completely knocked down) route and will be assembled at Hyundai’s plant in Sriperumbudur, Chennai. Going forward, Hyundai is expected to bring some smaller electric vehicles in the market as the carmaker is planning a top-down approach for its EV range in India.