With the launch of EQC in 2020, Mercedes-Benz India literally electrified the country’s luxury car landscape. But Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India says, "Cost disparity is a key challenge in greater EV adoption. The range anxiety and charging infrastructure concerns need to be addressed. After BS VI Stage II, it is important to establish a harmonised regulatory environment and will help companies adapt better.”
Speaking on the first day of the two-day ‘Meeting Emission Challenges’ virtual conclave organised by Autocar Professional, Schwenk highlighted that "The Indian customer is value oriented and cost sensitive. Concerns about sustainability are developing. The cost versus emission technology balance needs to be looked into. All that matters at the end is the on-road prices of the cars."
This is exactly where Schwenk sees the need for greater government support in rationalising GST for cars, “This will eventually help in better adoption of green mobility options. The Pandemic has slowed momentum in growth of India Auto Inc. I see case for deferment in regulation, may be by a year.”
While discussions are already underway on the EU7 and zero emission regulation in Europe, Schwenk pointed out that, “India also needs to look into the next stage of emission standards. Further focus on reducing carbon dioxide robust charging network for better electrification crucial. EVs will play a key role in bringing about carbon neutral mobility.”
According to him, the Mercedes-Benz products are ready to meet BS VI Stage II requirements, “This is because the cars are designed and optimised on real driving conditions. With the introduction of new engine generation 2019/2020, all new cars globally comply with Euro-6. Convergence and harmonisation of norms give Mercedes-Benz a much-needed edge.”
He believes a “stable fuel roadmap” will enable forward planning by OEMs and continued EV taxation support is critical for creating a sustained demand for electric vehicles.
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