Maruti Suzuki is currently testing several prototypes of the Japanese-spec WagonR EV across the length and breadth of the country. The idea of the extensive testing regime is not only to gather vital data but also to develop a deep understanding about what it takes to make an EV attractive to demanding Indian customers.
While the Maruti WagonR EV is expected to make its debut at the Auto Expo 2020, the company’s second electric vehicle project for India has already started taking shape. Livemint reports that, according to its sources, Suzuki Motor Corporation’s engineers have selected the Ertiga compact MPV as the second EV candidate for India.
The publication reports that Ertiga’s popularity among both private customers and commercial operators is one of the driving factors for its selection. The Japanese small car specialist’s Indian subsidiary will take the lead role in developing the Ergita electric.
As of now, it is not clear if Toyota Motor Corporation is involved in the development process of the Maruti Ertiga electric. If it is, then Toyota would come up with its own version of the electric people mover. Toyota will be launching a rebadged Ertiga next year, just like Glanza.
It is too early to talk about technical specifications but the electric MPV is expected to have very high level of local content. Livemint says that the electric Ertiga could be of different length compared to its IC-engined counterpart. Suzuki, Toyota and Denso are coming up with a local factory to manufacture lithium-ion battery packs and the green Ertiga is likely to be one of the early beneficiaries of the facility.
With all most all manufacturers scrambling to come up with their own EV roadmap for India, the long-standing industry leader can’t afford to take a relaxed approach. Mahindra, the EV pioneer in India, may still have low volumes in the nascent market but is currently working on a range of electric vehicles. Tata Motors just introduced the pure electric Tigor and has promised that its entire portfolio will have an electric variant in due course.
Hyundai kick started a top-down approach in the Indian EV segment by introducing the Kona crossover at Rs 25.3 lakh while MG Motors is gearing up to introduce its e-ZS compact electric SUV within this year.