Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp, which has Maruti Suzuki as its subsidiary in India, will start testing prototypes of electric vehicles (EV) in India by October this year, said its chairman, Osamu Suzuki, at the Global Mobility Summit at New Delhi.
The company, which is gearing up to deliver a fleet of electric cars in India by 2020, will start road-running tests using a fleet of 50 EV prototype vehicles in India from next month in order to develop safe and easy-to-use EVs for Indian customers.
The company would launch EVs in India around 2020 in cooperation with Toyota Motor Corp, Osamu Suzuki added.
The prototype EVs are reportedly developed on an existing model by Suzuki Motor Corporation and will be manufactured at the Maruti Suzuki facility in Gurgaon, exclusively for fleet testing.
According a Friday report by ZigWheels, Maruti Suzuki has also unveiled its first all-electric prototype at the ongoing MOVE Global Mobility Summit in New Delhi. Based on the Heartect platform, it finds its origins in the Japan-spec WagonR which gets the option of a hybrid power-train in its home market. The prototype, on the other hand, was developed in-house at Maruti’s plant in Gurgaon, Haryana.
An another previous report however also suggested that Maruti may launch the Swift Hybrid in India in the run-up to an all-electric future. Maruti showcased Swift Hybrid at the 2018 Auto Expo to gauge interest and they have shown it again at the recently held 2018 Indonesian Auto Show.
Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India said, “Maruti Suzuki is committed to bringing Electric Vehicle in 2020. The testing in multiple terrains and climatic conditions will help us get valuable insights from real-life driving conditions. With these tests, we are confident that our Electric Vehicle will be well accepted by our valued customers.”
Additionally, Suzuki, the parent of India’s top-selling automaker, Maruti Suzuki Ltd, would start production of lithium-ion batteries for automobiles at its plant in western India from 2020. Suzuki said that EVs are expensive due to the high cost of batteries which are still not manufactured in India.
Suzuki also warned India that lack of charging stations could make the concept of “all-electric vehicles in India” unviable.
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