Hyundai plans small, affordable electric car in India

Hyundai Motor Co of South Korea has started designing a tiny electric car for India in the future, even as it concentrates on delivering more luxury models to the nation this year, according to a company executive.

In an interview, Tarun Garg, director sales, marketing, and service for Hyundai India, stated that many departments are working on topics such as the charging environment, sales network, production, and the type of assembly process the manufacturer should have.

“We need to look at as much localisation as possible,” Garg added, referring to sourcing and manufacturing components locally to keep prices down and make the automobiles inexpensive.

While Garg would not say when the company’s tiny electric vehicle (EV) will be launched in India, he did say that the timing must be appropriate “so we can introduce it at the right pricing.”

“The ecosystem should be ready,” he continued, “and we should have adequate charging.”

The little electric car is part of Hyundai’s larger ambition to invest 40 billion rupees ($512 million) in India by 2028 to debut six electric vehicles, promoting clean driving in a country with some of the world’s most polluted cities.

EVs account for less than 1% of total automobile sales in India, but the government wants to increase that to 30% by 2030 in order to cut pollution and fuel imports.

Hyundai will offer premium vehicles beginning with its Ioniq 5 electric crossover this year and steadily go down the price chain until its little EV reaches the roads, according to Garg.

In the United States, the Ioniq 5, which has a range of around 480 kilometers, starts at around $44,000.

“We took a bottoms-up approach when it came to automobiles with internal combustion engines. We’re experimenting with a top-down strategy in electric “He went on to say that a wider charging network and cheaper battery prices are required for mass market EVs to thrive.

Hyundai released the Kona EV in India in 2019, ostensibly to test the market, but sales were sluggish due to the expensive price and lack of public charging infrastructure. The Kona’s lessons would be incorporated into the company’s future EV strategy in India, according to Garg.

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