Volkswagen To Launch EVs In India When Market Matures Enough
Lack of infrastructure and high cost of EVs makes it infeasible to launch such products here, thinks VW.
Launch of Volkswagen (VW) electric vehicle in India is not set to happen anytime soon, since, the manufacturer notes, the infrastructure to support EVs is not fully developed here yet.
Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Brand, Ralf Brandstatter, at a global press conference held on Thursday in Germany, revealed that apart from the infrastructure issue, the market, at this stage, cannot accept the price point of EVs from VW.
The carmaker is gearing up to launch the ID.4 electric SUV on 23rd September overseas. Built on the brand’s MEB platform, the EV has a claimed range of 500 km in a single charge.
But, due to the costs involved, VW does not want to bring the MEB platform to India now. However, that is not to say that it will not be introduced here at all, for the carmaker has stated it will keep evaluating the market and come here at the appropriate time.
India is admittedly not ready for electric vehicles yet. A weakening currency coupled with the effects of the economic slowdown and the pandemic are not helping matters either.
In FY19, 3600 electric vehicles were sold in India, while a year later, the number dropped by 6 percent, to 3400 units. These numbers are not big enough to warrant VW electric vehicle India launch anytime soon.
While VW might be looking at the upper spectrum of the EV field, the real change has begun to happen at the lower range, with Tata and Mahindra launching cars in the sub Rs. 15 lakhs and Rs. 10 lakhs price range. The result is that the Nexon is now the best-selling EV in India.
Other notable EVs on sale in India include the MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona Electric. Carmakers Maruti and Hyundai, apart from several others, are also reportedly working on affordable all-electric products.
This scenario has played out many times before. Automakers have waited for the market to be in place and demand to rise before entering it, while some have boldly entered it, creating a new space by and for themselves.
We know that Volkswagen plans to invest about Rs. 8000 crores in India to develop new products and improve its market share which stands at less than 1 percent now.
It knows that the market has the habit of surprising many with its diverse set of buyers and drastic changes in buying trend. Let us hope that VW is not too late to the party.
Source – Moneycontrol.com