Suzuki is keen to extend its hybrid market in India where other automakers are now putting more electric vehicles on the road. Steering of Suzuki hybrid cars stems from the fact that the company possesses vast technological know-how in this area and that India still lacks complete infrastructure needed for fully electric cars.
Even as UK, China and France are seeking to ban sale of gasoline engine vehicles, automakers such as VW, GM and Nissan have revealed plans to bring in more electric vehicles. The Suzuki hybrid cars product catalogue in India spans hybrid Ciaz and hybrid Ertiga through its Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki, and hybrids such as Swift and Solio in Japan, which are powered by electric motors at lower speeds. Suzuki is also mulling partnership with Toyota Motors to gain knowhow in electric vehicles. Suzuki is aware of Indian consumer buying patterns where top selling cars like the Alto, WagonR and Swift are much more affordably priced as compared to electric vehicles.
The Indian market is also yet to develop strong charging infrastructure to support these electric vehicles which is another reason for Suzuki to go the hybrid way. The Government of India is also keen to implement an all electric vehicle policy by 2030 and has commenced higher taxes on hybrids to the extent of 28% and just 12% on electric cars.
Despite no clear electric vehicle roadmap for India, the conversation around EVs is beginning. The longterm plan outlines electric vehicles by 2030 but there are no clear goals to achieve to reach this ambitious target. Policy doesn’t go for all out discounts and rebates to promote the use of electric vehicles but does limit GST to 12% for electric vehicles as against 28% for small hybrid vehicles. In September, the government put out a requirement of 10,000 electric cars to be procured over time. Tata Motors and Mahindra put their best foot forward.