Will Not Commercially Launch Electric Vehicle For Personal Use Next Year, Says Maruti
RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., gestures while speaking during the second-quarter earnings news conference at the company’s headquarters in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Will Not Commercially Launch Electric Vehicle For Personal Use Next Year, Says Maruti

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Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. on Thursday said it will not commercially launch an electric car, which it has been testing, for personal use next year, citing lack of infrastructure and government support.

The company, which had earlier announced plans to launch an electric car based on WagonR by 2020, said by next year the vehicle will be "at a stage which can go to the next stage of trials and testing."

"(It is) not going to be launched commercially for public use at the moment. It won't be available for public," Maruti Suzuki India Chairman RC Bhargava told reporters in New Delhi.

In 2020, he said the "electric WagonR, which has been introduced as a testing vehicle will be at a stage that can go to the next stage of trials and testing. These are not at a stage where they can be sold commercially to individuals. There is no government support for it".

Speaking at the quarterly results announcement of the company, he said, "Both Suzuki and us, we have a programme going on what to do in this area. As we go along we will keep implementing that programme but don't expect any sudden announcement that now we are putting 1,00,000 EVs on roads".

Also read: Q2 Results: Maruti Suzuki’s Profit Beats Estimates On Higher Income, Lower Tax

Even the government's priority on electric vehicles has changed and in order to launch such cars successfully for mass consumption there has to be infrastructure as well as support, he added. "The government's own priority from the time the first announcement on EV was made some 18 months to two years ago, today it has changed substantially.

"Today as far as I have understood they are giving higher priority to electrifying two-wheelers, cars for personal use don't have any priority for them. The Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India scheme doesn't contain subsidy for personal cars," Bhargava said.

"If somebody is going to buy this car without any infrastructure in the country and at a pretty high price because there is no support of any kind, I can launch but what is the purpose?" he asked. Bhargava also said for electric vehicles to be successfully sold at a mass scale in India, key components have to be made in India. "If you want to do an EV programme in India, somebody has to manufacture battery in India," he added.

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