Electric vehicles, the future of the automobile industry have become a lot more popular these days. With the government initiative to make India all electric by 2030, a lot of the carmakers have been coming up with new EVs almost every month. A lot of the carmakers have already stepped into the electric vehicle market in India. With EVs getting more traction in the market, we can expect more car launches with newer technology in coming years.
2020 was expected to see a lot more electric vehicle launches but with the current COVID19 crisis and the lockdown, most manufacturers had to halt their operations for a while. With the lockdown easing up, a lot of the carmakers are looking forward to the pending launch of their EVs.
Maruti-Suzuki has resumed its operation as well and will be introducing a few pending projects as well as the electric version of WagonR. The initial launch of the new WagonR EV will only be limited as a taxi or fleet management vehicle.
The new WagonR EV will come equipped with the standard features which also includes, digital instrument cluster, steering mounted controls, automatic air conditioning and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with AppleCarPlay and Android Auto. Most of the details regarding the EV have not been made public yet but the car is expected to have a range of 130 kms on a single charge. The car may come equipped with a brake energy regeneration system which basically converts kinetic energy to electric energy At times of deceleration, which in turns will charge the battery.
Along with the standard home charging unit, Wagon R EV will be offered with a DC fast charging option. The car is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 8-12 lakh. The car is expected to be launched in the showrooms by 2021.
RC Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki said, “Success of eco-friendly vehicles depends on three primary factors – acquisition cost, running costs and battery technology.” With that being said, since the acquisition costs of EV run higher than the IC engines, that could be a constraint for some of the consumers after the lockdown. Apart from that, the electric charging points that were expected to be put up this year have been running behind the schedule and during such times with lesser charging stations, range anxiety and the conventional fossil fuel preference has also affected the decision of introduction of the new EV as a taxi for now.
Maruti-Suzuki will currently be focusing more on CNG and hybrid vehicles which are much greener compared to the current IC engines. The new green projects by Maruti-Suzuki involve factory fitted CNG kits for its 6 BS6 compliant vehicles, Alto, WagonR, Eeco, Ertiga, Tour S and Super Carry. Maruti-Suzuki has recently launched its BS6 CNG Celerio as well as the taxi version Tour H2. In the financial year of 2019-20, the company made a new record selling more than one million factory-fitted CNG units.
To get things moving, Maruti may also invest in building the required battery charging infrastructure before launching its first electric car. The company may partner with third-party infrastructure providers as well.
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