Hyundai-Kia Motors aims to make electric cars in India

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Korean car manufacturing giants Hyundai and Kia Motors are all set to introduce electric cars in India, at a time when the government is preparing an ambitious plan towards cleanfuel mobility.

Not only this, the Korean group company is looking at the possibility of partnering compatriot LG for its car batteries which perhaps, ranges from a mini SUV to even a clean versions of Hyundai’s existing compact cars.

“One reason why I am in India is to better understand what’s going on in the electric space here,” said Albert Biermann, president and head of the Korean group’s R&D division. 

Biermann further stated, “We can import the technology, but when the market gets too competitive, we can also localise. We have a very strong network of our sister companies and Korean suppliers. The Korean battery technology is leading across the world and we have strong partnerships, like with LG. So, we can localise with those partners.”

Biermann added that the Hyundai group feels dejected by the government’s decision to provide electric vehicle incentives only for taxis and fleet cars. “It would be a lot easier if private car customers also get some support to get into cleaner vehicles, especially in metropolitan cities,” he later said.

On the other hand, the Maruti Suzuki-Toyota together has planned to launch, locally made electric products from 2020.

Top officials with the Korean auto giants are currently in the middle of a feasibility study, taking stock of regulatory issues, import tariffs on parts, possible partners for local sourcing, and understanding India-specific conditions for electric vehicles, according to a source.

Moreover, Hyundai will initially launch the Kona electric SUV that will be assembled at its Chennai plant. The car, however, will be priced in the premium range and cost upwards of Rs 20 lakh.


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