The auto giants of India Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki will soon be entering the electric vehicle market, which was the forte of only Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) so far with their Reva. This new development is because of the recent announcement that was made by Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of heavy industries. He said that the government is going to setup a pilot project where electric four wheelers will provide the last-mile connectivity for Delhi Metro passengers, and these electric four wheelers will be pressed into service, in a circuit of 5-6 kilometres, reported Hindustan Times.
According to the government official, “The ambitious plan aspires to have more than 1.5 million electric cars and pickups by 2020.”
Interestingly, Tata Motors has already launched an electric version of its small truck Ace in the UK and may do the same for Magic, the people-carrier on the Ace platform. Also while M&M is planning to bring out the electric version of its popular people carrier Maxximo, Maruti, too may jump in the race with its electric version of Maruti Eeco MPV, demonstrated in auto expo 2010. Apparently all these key players are waiting for the government to announce subsidies for these vehicles.
The electric vehicle subsidy is also likely to be restored by April 2014 which was withdrawn in March 2012, and is a result of the analysis conducted by the ministry, for total ownership costs of electric cars and two wheelers and arrived at the consensus on subsidising these.
Though the demand for EVs isn’t very promising given their high prices and lack of charging infrastructure, the spokesperson sounded hopeful and said that they are expecting “about 9 million four wheelers to be sold by 2020 and electric vehicles to account for 17-18% of this.