Toyota has no plans to bring in electric cars to India immediately: Here’s why

Toyota will wait for the charging infrastructure to come up in India before bringing in an electric car.

By: | Published: September 25, 2017 11:05 AM
Toyota Prius: Representational Image

Indian-arm of Japanese auto-maker Toyota Kirloskar says that the company has no immediate plans to launch an electric vehicle in India and instead would wait for the charging infrastructure to develop before taking a call on launching such models in the country reports PTI. With the buzz on electric cars getting stronger and gaining much support from the government, the Indian auto-industry has given out mixed reaction to electrification. While no one has officially announced to launch an electric car immediately, every car manufacturer is gearing itself to be ready for electrification. Recently, Suzuki along with Toshiba and Denso announced an investment of Rs 1,151 crore in setting up a lithium ion battery plant in Gujarat. Mahindra and Ford Motor Company have joined hands at least for three years and have a strong focus towards developing electric cars for Indian market. Toyota on other hand will wait to have a better infrastructure that supports electric vehicles (EVs). "We have no plans to go electric," vice chairman and whole-time director of TKM, Shekar Viswanathan told PTI over buzz around EVs (electric vehicles) in the domestic auto industry with the government's aggressive push towards e-mobility.

He further added that "Toyota (Motor Corporation) does have an electric vehicle (in its portfolio and launched in some overseas markets) but we (TKM) will wait for the charging infrastructure to come up in India before we ask Toyota Motor Corporation to give us (TKM) electric vehicle products," he said. Viswanathan said electric vehicle technology is very simple and so, it's not very difficult to introduce such models, and agreed with the view that TKM can launch EVs at short notice.
"We (Toyota Kirloskar Motor) already have an electric vehicle in the hybrid, which is an electric vehicle, except that if we take away the internal combustion engine, it will become full an electric vehicle," he added.

Globally, Toyota and Suzuki have also joined hands to form a technology partnership. If reports are to be believed then India will play an important role in this business partnership between the two Japanese giants. The details of this partnership have not been shared yet, but sources say that a small hybrid vehicle might be on cards that would be jointly developed by Suzuki and Toyota. The two companies will source components jointly which would bring down the overall development cost of the vehicle. In a statement ot ET, Akito Tachibana, MD of Toyota Kirloskar had earlier said "As we hear that India is one of the candidate regions considered to be covered in the implementation of this partnership, we at TKM look forward to the outcome under this memorandum,"

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