Hyundai Creta EV SUV in development
The price of the Creta EV is expected to range from 15 lakhs to 30 lakhs, with the launch scheduled for the first quarter of 2025.
While this week's Auto Expo 2023 will have Hyundai display their showstopper Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 EVs, the Korean brand has already begun work on something more mainstream for our market, as far as EVs go.
Our sister publication Autocar Professional has learnt that Hyundai has begun developing an all-electric Creta, internally known as project SU2i EV, which is likely to premiere at the 2025 Auto Expo. The Creta EV is expected to see series production by the last quarter of 2024.
The EV SUV is expected to be shown in production guise at the 2025 Auto Expo, and a market launch is likely to follow in the first quarter of 2025. The Creta EV will arrive at around the same time as its rival – Maruti's YY8 EV SUV.
The Maruti YY8, too, is likely to premiere at the motor show in 2025. This SUV is being jointly developed with Toyota, with both brands curating their respective versions of it. As far as the Creta EV goes, sources tell us that Hyundai is eyeing a modest 20,000 to 25,000 unit sales per annum for the domestic market. Interestingly, it is similar to the volumes planned by Maruti Suzuki for the YY8 EV SUV.
Hyundai taking a top-down EV approach for India
The question is, how will they do it? Hyundai will opt for a three-tiered approach. The first step is to use completely knocked-down kits or completely built-up imports like the Ioniq 5 and the Kona Electric; the second step is where it will develop an internal combustion engine platform-derived EV, which is where the Creta EV fits in; and lastly, a complete localisation of the E-GMP platform, which will be used for India and global markets.
Till the time the Creta EV is being readied, Hyundai will rely on the Kona and Ioniq 5 at the top end to establish the brand's credentials, even as it gets the back end in place – sourcing, manufacturing and the charging infrastructure.
Hyundai Creta EV expected price in India
Sources say the Creta EV may be priced between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 30 lakh. This space is set to become the core of electric vehicles' offerings. Home-grown brands – Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra – are also likely to populate the space with at least half a dozen new offerings.
The Hyundai manufacturing facility in Chennai has seen a lot of repurposing activity and is said to be ready to accommodate the production of ICE-platform-based electric vehicles. In FY2022, Hyundai Motor India invested Rs 1,472 crore in the expansion of plant capacity to 8.5 lakh units to cater to future demand.
More electric Hyundais by 2028 in India
India is a very strong market for the South Korean brand, and so it is natural that it becomes an integral part of the headquarters' shift towards EVs. The parent company HMC has planned a portfolio of half a dozen electric vehicles for India by 2028. Hyundai will be spending close to $500 million (over Rs 4,000 crore) for this purpose. In its FY2022 annual filing with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the company said it is accelerating its EV plans in India as it expects the market for EVs to grow at a compounded annual rate of 90 percent to $150 billion by the end of the decade.
Government support for EVs very important
Last October, on the rising penetration for EVs, Hyundai Motor India had said the drivers of EV adoption are the rising fuel prices and higher cost of ICE vehicles that impact their affordability. The government's support for EVs is also playing a big role. "Central schemes such as FAME and PLI have increased the investments in manufacturing of EVs," the company said in a note. "Many state governments have also provided demand incentives and capital assistance for setting up greenfield manufacturing plants.
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