Hyundai India sells 88 Kona EVs in August, sees interest from private and fleet buyers

by Mayank Dhingra 20 Sep 2019

Hyundai Motor India, which, on July 9, had introduced its Kona electric crossover in the domestic market, is seeing good market response for the five-seater monocoque electric vehicle (EV).

While Hyundai had despatched 25 units of the Kona to its select 15 dealerships across 11 cities in June to stock their inventory just before the launch, the carmaker shipped 17 cars in July and 88 (its highest yet) in August to take the total sales tally of the electric crossover to 130 units in less than three months since launch. Hyundai had claimed 152 bookings for the CKD model at the electric car's launch.

The increase in buyer interest in the model could be attributed to the fact that while the Kona was initially launched at a price tag of Rs 25.30 lakh (ex-showroom), it later saw a downward revision to Rs 23.71 lakh with effect of the GST reduction for EVs proposed by the government in the Union Budget for FY2020.

This Rs 159,000 price correction came after the GST slab on EVs getting revised from 12 percent to 5 percent (lowest slab) in the government’s attempt to push electric mobility in India. Moreover, with certain states such as Karnataka and more recently, Tamil Nadu coming up with their EV policies offering dollops of incentives to buyers such as 100 percent exemption of road tax on adoption of electric vehicles, the demand for the Kona is only set to see a further increase.

While it is too expensive a proposition for ride sharing companies such as Ola and Uber to incorporate into their fleets, corporate employee transportation companies such as Lithium Urban Technologies are toying with the idea of including Konas into its all EV fleets in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

According to an earlier statement by SS Kim, MD and CEO, Hyundai Motor India, “We welcome the GST Council’s historic decision to reduce the GST on EVs from 12 percent to 5 percent and on EV chargers from 18 percent to 5 percent. The tax benefit will help create an ecosystem that will encourage faster mass adoption of EVs in our society.”

“With the launch of India’s first fully electric SUV – Hyundai Kona Electric, Hyundai has already strengthened its commitment to bring ‘Clean Mobility’ solutions to the Indian customers and we are thankful to government of India for fulfilling their promise as this strategic decision by GST council will further strengthen confidence of prospective buyers for electric mobility in future.”

Mass-market small EV in the works
While the Kona is a halo product from Hyundai also aimed at determining its technological capabilities when it comes to EV technology, the company is looking at introducing a mass-market ‘small EV’ being developed specifically for India with collaboration of the Indian and Korean design centres.

This is part of Hyundai’s global roadmap of introducing 25 EVs by 2025, and Kim had earlier told Autocar Professional that Hyundai India aims to bring quite a few of those to India.

Also on cards is investment into local battery manufacturing and Hyundai Motor India is looking to invest into a completely new battery manufacturing plant in India as well.