In the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the MOVE Global Mobility Summit, Suzuki Chairman O Suzuki confirmed that Maruti Suzuki will commence the testing of its electric cars starting next month. Earlier, RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki had confirmed that Maruti Suzuki will launch its first electric car in India in 2020. O Suzuki, Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation said that the company will start running a road test with a fleet of 50 electric vehicle prototypes to develop safe and convenient EVs that suit the traffic and climate situations in India as per the Indian buyers.
Suzuki is developing its electric car in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation. Suzuki has already invested Rs 1,137 crore on its new lithium-ion battery plant in Gujarat in collaboration with Toshiba and Denso. The battery plant will commence production in 2020 and will provide a boost to the Make-In-India programme. The lithium-ion battery plant will manufacture and supply electric vehicle batteries to the Suzuki plant in Gujarat, which will manufacture electric and hybrid cars.
Maruti and Suzuki's joint venture began in 1983 and now the company has achieved 100% localisation as confirmed by O Suzuki in his speech. He went on to say that "in order to increase the penetration of EV vehicles in India, it is obvious that it will be possible/practical only when sufficient charging infrastructure is developed."
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Mr Suzuki also said that "in order to realise sustainable mobility society, we need to address various issues other than electrification of vehicles, such as offering a safe and efficient mobility using information technology. I promise we will continue to make our best effort for resolving these issues."
Suzuki also believes that by 2030, about 30% of vehicles will be all-electric which means a lot will still be running on the traditional petrol/diesel engines. Maruti Suzuki is not just working on electric cars but in the future will also be looking to bring in CNG and hybrid cars. O Suzuki requested Narendra Modi-led government to extend support in this area.
Maruti Suzuki led by RC Bhargava and Kenichi Ayukawa showcased it's electric and zero-emission plans to PM Modi at the ongoing MOVE Global Mobility Summit.