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Renault Kwid electric planned for India by 2020 – Will rival Maruti WagonR EV

Renault is one of the several OEMs who are eagerly waiting for the implementation of a clear electric vehicle policy by the Indian government. In its 2022 Road Map, the French automaker has revealed that it would be introducing electric vehicles in India.

According to a report by Economic Times, the Kwid electric is being developed in China with inputs from the alliance’s Indian R&D unit (RNTBCI) which is responsible for the creation of CMF-A modular architecture. It’s reported that engineers from India have paid a visit to China to help their counterparts electrify the CMF-A platform. The battery and battery management system are under development in China.

Renault Kwid Captain America Edition in India. Image – Ashish Gajpal.

ET’s sources also say that the Renault Kwid electric is likely to be launched in China in 12-18 months. Once that happens, it’s only a matter of time before the vehicle hits the Indian market. The development is inline with a statement made by the alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn last year. He said that once the Renault Kwid electric is ready for China, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be shipped to markets like India, Middle East and Brazil.

For Renault India, launching its electric vehicle campaign with the Kwid would be a sound strategy given that the crossover-like hatchback is hugely popular in India, and in the initial months of its launch, it proved to be a serious threat to market leaders Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai.

New Maruti WagonR electric will be first electric car from Maruti Suzuki in India. Launch in 2020.

Without confirming the plans for Kwid electric in India, Sumit Sawhney, MD, Renault India, told ET that EVs are inevitable and localization of electric powertrain is very important to achieve an attractive value proposition since around 40% of the vehicle’s value is accounted for by the battery. He also added that the EV market in India will take off once concerned related to performance, range and cost are solved.

The Renault Kwid electric is estimated to be priced around Rs 6 lakhs. This would put it in direct contention with the Mahindra e2o and the upcoming Maruti WagonR EV and Tata Tiago EV. If Renault could enter the EV game in India before Maruti, Hyundai and other major players, there is a very good chance that the Kwid electric could recreate the same impact its IC-engined sibling created at the time of its launch.