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Archives

EV infra not sufficient, but it is improving

13/08/2019 | Author: Autoguide | 0 Comments Back To Home   < Previous News   |   Next news >

Mr SS Kim, MD & CEO, Hyundai India

Korean automaker Hyundai recently launched India’s first fully electric SUV Kona. The Government is already giving a major push for electric vehicles, but with a price tag of Rs 25 lakh, this SUV can be bought by only a few. As a result, the carmaker has launched it in only 11 cities. Hyundai India Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr SS Kim tells Arindam Majumder of Business Standard what needs to be done to bring EVs to the mainstream in the country. Herewith we reproduce experts from the interview:
 
Question: The Government is pushing electric vehicles but infrastructure for it to become main stream seems to be lacking. What is your take?
 
Answer: To be honest, it’s not sufficient. A lot needs to be done. People are complaining. But it has improved a lot over the years. The market demand is still ahead. There are issues about charging infrastructure as well. But it’s improving.
 
Question: So is Hyundai much ahead of time in launching an EV?
 
Answer: Yes and no. I joined the India operations six month back; market feedback shows not many want EVs. Hyundai has introduced EVs across the world. May be it wasn’t the right time to enter the Indian market. Clearly, Kona will be catering to a higher pyramid of the market in terms of price. The cost reflects the higher cost of the battery. But at the same time, with Kona, we want to eliminate any inhibitions. We hope that driving Kona will change the mind-set of the customer.
 
Question: Why have you leapfrogged hybrid and moved straightway to EV, where as many of your competitors are saying that hybrid vehicle?
 
Answer: Our hybrid vehicles are very popular across the world. In India, the Government is focusing more on EVs. So that has become our focus area. Also hybrid engines still use petrol and diesel. It may be better than normal IC engine but there is still emission. We are trying to completely eliminate that. We are not overlooking hybrid vehicles. If the Government supports hybrids with their policies and taxation structure, we will definitely formulate a strategy. But right now, EV looks like the future.
 
Question: You mentioned that the price of EV may still be a hurdle in it becoming a mass market product. What needs to be done to change that?
 
Answer: The price of a vehicle depends completely on the economy of scale, on whether we have meaningful demand from the market. Our vendors and suppliers will only do business on a reduced cost if they see the volume of scale.
 
Question: Manufacturing locally can also reduce the cost of an EV. Do you see that happening?
 
Answer: For Kona, we are importing most of the parts from South Korea and localising bulky components such as seats, bumpers. For localisation to increase, the volume has to grow. Only then OEMs will be able to strike meaningful deals with.
 

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