While almost all the top car companies in India are up and running with their electric vehicle strategy, the country’s biggest automaker, Maruti, isn’t all that fast. It will launch its first electric vehicle only in 2025 from the Gujarat plant. Maruti is already on record saying that while the Indian electric vehicle market is growing, it is very small and the electric vehicle market share will only be 10% by 2030.
Reflecting this line of thinking, Maruti also feels that vehicles powered by hybrid technology, natural gas and biofuels present a better path to a cleaner future than electric cars.
Its chairman RC Bhargava, in an interview with Bloomberg (opens in new tab) said talking without looking at the green of electricity generated in the country is an inadequate approach to the problem. “Until we have a cleaner electricity grid, it is necessary to use all available technologies such as compressed natural gas, ethanol, hybrid and biogas, which will help to reduce the carbon footprint and not drive any technology.”
Maruti does not follow other automakers
Regardless of what other manufacturers are planning, EVs won’t be a big part of Maruti car sales. But that said, it’s not like Maruti isn’t making any investments in the EV area. It’s just that you’re not putting all your clean energy eggs in the EV basket alone.
For the record, Suzuki Motor, parent company of Maruti Suzuki, announced that it would invest Rs 10,440 crore in Gujarat to build a new electric car and battery factory in India.
Suzuki has already developed a lithium-ion battery production facility in a joint venture with Japanese companies Denso Corp and Toshiba at Hansalpur in Gujarat. Manufacturing should start later this year.
Simultaneously, according to Bhargava, Maruti will work on cars that run on compressed natural gas because they are cleaner than gasoline or diesel models and cheaper than EVs, making them a viable option for low-income consumers looking to upgrade. of a two wheeler car.
Maruti is targeting the sale of 600,000 compressed natural gas cars in the year ending March 2023, up from 230,000 units in the previous fiscal year. Maruti currently has nine compressed natural gas models and plans to introduce more variants of this type.
Bhargava also opined that the use of biofuels to fuel passenger cars is another alternative, but the investment to make it commercially viable is lacking.
For the record, Suzuki already has a global understanding with Toyota and has revealed plans to enter the non-IC engine vehicle business in India.