RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, has revealed that the WagonR electric car’s commercial launch will not take place in 2020. He has stated that R&D work and trial runs are going as per plan, but the govt norms and infrastructure in the country is not ready for the launch of Maruti’s first electric car.
Government priorities currently are more towards electric two wheelers, as against passenger vehicles. This was clearly made evident at the launch of Bajaj Chetak recently, where top govt officials said that they want India to become the global leader in electric two wheelers.
Citing these developments, Maruti has pushed the commercial launch of their first electric car to 2021. In 2020, Maruti WagonR testing will enter an advanced phase, to make the car tuned for Indian road conditions.
Maruti WagonR electric was first announced at the MOVE Summit in September 2018. Soon after, field tests started on 50 prototype electric vehicles; over various weather and terrain conditions. Test mules of Maruti WagonR electric have been spied in Ladakh, Himachal, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Bombay, Delhi, etc. Maruti aims to test the car in all states of India, to deliver the first made for India electric car.
Last year, Maruti also signed an MoU with Toyota to develop affordable electric cars. Earlier this week, Toyota revealed that they will launch their first electric car in India in 2021. It will most likely be based on the WagonR electric. The company had also stated building a lithium ion battery plant at the Gujarat facility in collaboration with Denso and Toshiba.
The Maruti WagonR EV will likely sport a standard AC charging facility which would take around 7 hours for a complete recharge while DC fast charging is also expected to allow around 80 percent charge in 1 hour. This could give real world range of around 150 km. No prices were revealed but the tall boy electric vehicle could be priced in the region of Rs.12 lakhs.
However, while Maruti Suzuki holds back on the launch of the WagonR electric vehicle, Toyota has confirmed a mass market electric car for India which will arrive in 2021 and which will be co-developed with Maruti Suzuki and will share its platform and powertrain with the WagonR electric hatchback.