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Top carmakers ready service networks, infrastructure ahead of EV rollout

Livemint:  May 08, 2018

New Delhi: As top passenger vehicle manufacturers Hyundai Motor India Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd gear up to launch their electric vehicles (EVs) in the next two years, the narrative around electric mobility has slowly moved towards customer satisfaction and how companies can provide comprehensive service.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the South Korean manufacturer, will launch its Ioniq electric vehicle in 2019 and the company has started working on ways to provide complete solution to potential customers, be it in after-sales service, availability of spare parts or repairs.

“From our perspective, we are very clear. We are asking the government to make policies so that we can give the industry what it wants. We have already started looking at how we can generate infrastructure (like retail and service points) for this. We have started talking to our parent company,” said Puneet Anand, senior general manager (marketing) and group head, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

Anxiety over range—the distance an electric vehicle can run on a single charge—which is a concern with the electric vehicles of some Indian manufacturers, will also be minimized.

Though the company is yet to decide on the segment in which the electric vehicle will be launched, vehicles sold under the Ioniq brand can run more than 100km on a single charge.

According to the website of Hyundai USA, Ioniq electric has an estimated range of 124 miles on a single full charge, which roughly translates to 199km.

This is more than what any of the electric vehicles currently plying on Indian roads have to offer.

“Hyundai’s Ioniq can run up to a long distance with one full charge, which means there will be no range anxiety with our EVs. If these vehicles actually become a success, as we envisage, the entire dynamics of the automobile industry will change,” said Anand.

The vehicle that will be launched in India in 2019 will also come with a home charging solution, which means a paucity of charging stations will not be a problem.

Earlier this year, in an interview to Mint, Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said that as far as Maruti Suzuki is concerned, it has to establish charging stations in some areas in collaboration with dealers and business partners.

“As long as we sell the vehicle, we have to arrange something for the customers. That is simple logic. It will be difficult to offer electric vehicles on the rural side; but in city areas, it is possible to establish charging stations at some points. We are just starting those kinds of studies,” said Ayukawa.

Maruti Suzuki is at present conducting a survey to gauge customer expectations from electric vehicles.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.