Hyundai will be launching a new electric SUV that will compete with the likes of the Tata Nexon EV in 2022, S S Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India has confirmed for the first time. Autocar Professional is quoting Hyundai’s top boss on the mass-market SUV that will be manufactured in India for India.
Hyundai confirmed that it was developing an electric car for India in the ‘affordable’ category last year under the ‘Smart EV’ project. In subsequent interactions it was reported that the vehicle would cost under Rs. 10 lakh and that the company was planning a presentation at the Auto Expo 2022. When EVW interacted with Hyundai India’s sales, marketing & service director Tarun Garg at the Auto Expo, we got a sense that the electric car would have to be a compact SUV.
Hyundai will also be looking to export the affordable EV to emerging markets fitting the requirements. The new electric SUV will be built from scratch on a platform that is flexible to host both electric and ICE powertrains. Hyundai is planning to bring the car to the market in 2022 and is in talks with several suppliers and partners for the new ecosystem.
While Kim didn’t reveal more details about the configuration, he confirmed that the e-SUV will have a real world driving range of between 200 km to 300 km. Hyundai is also looking to set up a battery manufacturing plant in India to maximize the localisation of EV products. Hyundai already has a long-range EV in the form of the Kona, which was launched in 2019 and has a sales target of 500 units this year. But the Kona is being brought in as a CKD, which has increased the asking price significantly and it cannot drive mass adoption of zero-emission vehicles in a place where the majority of the car buyers are in the sub Rs 10 lakh category. A new battery manufacturing plant is expected to start operations right alongside the new electric SUV’s production as Hyundai is doing for its electric range in Europe.
While Maruti Suzuki is looking to bring out its first fully electric car in 2021, Hyundai launching another affordable electric car is certain to spark the electric vehicle revolution in India for the four-wheeler segment. With its wide dealership network, a skeletal charging infrastructure for customers is already setup.
MG Motor India, which witnessed an amazing response for its ZS EV electric SUV, is planning to launch an affordable electric car by 2023. MG is also planning to build a battery assembly plant in India as well as localize a few other components to bring down the cost of its electric vehicles. Lastly Mahindra has announced that its long-range electric SUV, the Mahindra eXUV300 with a range of over 370 km, will be launched in mid-2021, targeting the personal car segment.