A couple of days ago, Hyundai India announced that they would launch a total of 8 new vehicles in the next two years’, one of which would be an electric vehicle. Now just a few days ahead of Hyundai’s Chennai facility getting the regional HQ tag, new details on the upcoming electric car as well as their plans of Made-in-India electric vehicles have been released along with the announcement that Hyundai intends to have sold 1 crore cars in India by 2021, a target of which they are 20 lakh short. Speaking at an event to announce Chennai new HQ status, YK Koo MD, and CEO of Hyundai India mentioned that the first electric car will be an SUV and that it would be launched in the second half of 2019 less than a year away from today. Going on to say that the Electric SUV will make it to India through the CKD route only to be assembled at Hyundai’ Chennai plant.
As opposed to the likes of Maruti-Suzuki and Toyota that have both advised the influx of hybrid cars as segway to full-electric cars, Koo said that Hyundai would go fully electric or not at all, saying that the company is not looking at hybrids for India. The electric SUV in question is likely to be the Hyundai Kona which has already made its debut on Indian soil at the 2018 Auto Expo will go on sale across 15 key cities across India. Hyundai is currently discussing their pricing strategy for the Kona which we suspect will be launched at a price between 20-25 lakh in India as long as it comes via the CKD or Completely Knocked Down route. However, Hyundai also reiterated that as long as on the market response and an ecosystem for EVs is established in India, their long-term goal will be to use the Chennai facility as a base for Made-In-India Electric Vehicles.
At present, the GST rate on imported electric vehicles in India is set at 12% percent, which Koo advised the Indian government to consider bringing this rate down to 5% such as to allow for faster mass-scale adoption of electric vehicle along-side the setup of a charging infrastructure network which will play a vital role in the adoption of EVs in India.
As for the first Hyundai EV in India, the Kona EV which is likely to be powered by the same 135 hp Electric motor which produces 325 Nm of instant torque. Put together the Kona boasts a more than respectable 0-100 time of 7.6 seconds, and almost 325 kms of range. Koo also announced that to compensate for the lack of charging infrastructure by selling the car packaged with a home-charging kit. Depending on the charge, the Kona can be fully charged in 6 hours with AC charging, and a little more hour using a DC-fast charger.
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