Hyundai has just launched its first EV in India, the Kona Electric. While the Kona Electric has impressive specs for an EV, including a 452km ARAI-certified range, its Rs 25.3 lakh (ex-showroom, India) price tag means that it won’t be the Hyundai model responsible for mass adoption of electric vehicles. However, a new, affordable Hyundai EV could just be the model to take things into higher gear – like the 'small EV' the carmaker has said is in the works for the Indian market.
The small EV is in the product pipeline and is part of Hyundai’s plans to roll out 25 electric models by 2025. "We aim to bring quite a few of those 25 models to India," said SS Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India. Sources tell us that the 'small EV' is being developed specifically for India in collaboration with the Indian and Korean R&D centres; and local battery manufacturing will be central to the viability of the project. "When we introduce our mass-market EV in India, it will be based on the localisation of the battery. Our long-term roadmap is to invest in a battery-manufacturing plant," Kim told our sister publication, Autocar Professional, on the sidelines of the Kona Electric launch.
Presently, the Kona Electric is assembled in India via CKD kits. Hyundai has been locally sourcing the seats on the Kona and making the injection-moulded bumpers in India, but everything else is being sourced part-by-part from Korea and assembled at its plant in Chennai.
There is no confirmation of pricing but it seems Rs 10-14 lakh seems to be the price band for EVs to make commercial sense for their makers. The affordable EV from Hyundai would be one among a host of electric cars set to take to Indian roads in the coming years. Maruti is working on an electric version of the Wagon R, Tata Motors manufactures the Tigor EV and is also developing the Altroz EV and Mahindra will complement the e-Verito with the eKUV100 next year.
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