Exclusive: Audi eyes Indian EV market

by Sumantra B Barooah , 03 Jun 2016


The A3 e-tron, Audi's first plug-in hybrid model, offers 150 kW (204bhp) of system power and a pure electric range of 50 kilometres.

If you thought electric mobility in India would be restricted to cars from mass-market manufacturers, think again. German luxury carmaker Audi is planning to enter the Indian electric vehicle (EV) market.

Speaking to Autocar Professional, Joe King, head of Audi India, said, “In the coming years, you are going to see a refresh of our entire portfolio. There’s also a lot of exciting things coming in terms of electrification.”

No information yet about the electric/hybrid model/s that may get added to Audi India's model portfolio, but the A3 Sportback e-tron, Audi’s first plug-in hybrid, could be one. The model offers 150 kW (204 bhp) of system power and a purely electric range of 50 kilometres. Combined with the 1.4 TFSI with 110 kW (150 bhp) engine, the car has a total range of 940 kilometres.

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A move to enter the hybrid/electric vehicle market will help Audi address any fuel-related issue in India like the diesel ban in Delhi, which is threatening to cover other Indian states too. Regions like Delhi-NCR and Kerala are key markets for luxury cars too. In addition, Audi's move may also benefit from the government’s focus to promote electric/hybrid vehicles. India is not a significant electric vehicle market yet, but it could be in the coming years as the government has also laid down a framework to promote this industry.

Mahindra Electric (e2O and eVerito) is the leading player in the mainstream market, with Toyota (Prius, Camry) being a player in the premium segment and BMW (i8) in the luxury/performance segment of the nascent electric vehicle market in India. Tesla is also set to enter India with its Model 3 here. Audi is looking at hybrids and full-electric vehicles “as well” for this market.

Also read: Audi bets on performance models to power next growth phase in India