Hyundai is planning to drive in a Rs. 10-lakh electric car in India, and will spend over Rs. 2,000 crore to develop the vehicle that will be manufactured at its Chennai factory. The car could be a mini SUV, though different body types such as a premium hatchback, are also being considered. It will also be exported across Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The push from the company towards cleaner mobility comes at a time when the government is nudging automakers to work out serious electric-vehicle plans as pollution worsens across Indian cities, and rising fuel import bills hit the national exchequer.
As part of aggressive plans in the electric space, Hyundai is also looking at having an electric battery facility in India — on the lines of one developed by Suzuki and Toyota in Gujarat — and is speaking to an array of potential partners. These include Korean electronics giants like LG, Samsung SDI and SK Innovations, apart from some Chinese companies, Hyundai India MD S S Kim said.
“We are carrying out studies to determine a totally new and different product, and this will be an India-dedicated platform,” Kim told TOI, adding, “all body styles are being evaluated” at present.
The company recently launched its global electric vehicle Kona SUV in India, but this has been priced upwards of Rs. 25 lakh and is not expected to corner significant sales numbers due to its premium tag.
Hyundai aims to have a mass-volume affordable electric model for wider sections of the market. “We want a price that should be acceptable to general customers, and is also aggressive,” Kim said.
The company plans to develop a supplier chain for the ambitious vehicle. “Investment for a new car is around $200 million, but since this also comes with a new supply chain, it may be $300 million (over Rs. 2,000 crore) or more,” Kim said. Asked if the car is being developed around the Rs. 10-lakh price point, he said, “May be, that is a target. Hopefully.”
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