On Thursday, Maruti’s Japanese owner Suzuki has announced to produce its first commercial Electric car in India. For this Suzuki has decided to invest about $600 million to its Gujarat based facility in Hasalpur, which houses Plant A with an annual 2.5 lakh capacity and produces Baleno. A new plant B with similar capacity will come up by 2019 and will be followed by a Plant C. This new commitment will take Suzuki’s total investment in India to $2.1 Billion alone in Gujarat.
Maruti Electric Car
Suzuki has produced a Swift all-electric version called Swift REEV but never produced it commercially. Suzuki Motors has decided to make Gujarat the manufacturing base for its electric car business. The new EV will not only sold in the Indian market but also will be exported. This new plant will help bolster efforts for the Indian government’s flagship Make In India program. It also gives a push to switch to more cleaners fuels for transport.
It’s noteworthy that last week Tata Motors has also announced to go for an all-electric Tata Nano. Whereas Mahindra and Mahindra have decided to enter the Cab Aggregators sector with a new electric car.
Major significant investment will be to establish a new combustion engine unit at the same facility of about 5 lakh capacity. Apart from the new electric car Suzuki has announced a JV with Japanese Toshiba and Denso to produce an electric Li-ion battery pack for electric vehicles in India.
A Stanford economist, Tony Seba, thinks that the global oil business will end as soon as 2030. In a study released recently, Tony talks about the revolutionary changes soon to be wrought by electrification of the transportation. The study published by Stanford University says that fossil-fueled cars will vanish within eight years and the people who want to buy cars will have no choice but to invest in electric vehicles or vehicles working on similar technologies. Tony says that this is because the cost of the electric vehicles; which includes cars, buses, and even trucks will decrease and this will result in the collapse of the petroleum industry.
Indian Government has also shown a proactive approach towards electric cars. In January 2017, the Indian government announced to bear up to 60% of the research and development (R&D) cost for developing the indigenous low-cost electric technology. Power minister Piyush Goyal in March said, “We are working (on the scheme). Can we actually give the electric cars for free (zero down payment) and people can pay for that out of the savings on the petroleum products? Innovation is possible, it just needs an open mind. You need to think of scale and be honest.”