Maruti Suzuki focused on fundamentals of EVs over hype, will make in India for the world, says ED, Rahul Bharti

With a commitment of Rs 10,000 crore for the electric vehicle business, Maruti Suzuki will be coming out with its first electric vehicle and the construction of its battery facility is already in the works.

By Radhika Dave and Ketan Thakkar calendar 27 Nov 2023 Views icon7452 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Maruti Suzuki focused on fundamentals of EVs over hype, will make in India for the world, says ED, Rahul Bharti

At a time when rivals have raced ahead in the nascent electric vehicle race, Maruti Suzuki wants to build the foundation for electric vehicles before it builds a façade, says Rahul Bharti, Executive Director – Corporate Affairs, Maruti Suzuki India. The country’s largest car maker says it will enter the electric car market on the back of localisation and scale, especially of critical components like motors and batteries. 

With a commitment of Rs 10,000 crore for the electric vehicle business, Maruti Suzuki will be coming out with its first electric vehicle and the construction of its battery facility is already in the works.

Explaining that every manufacturer would have their own context and strategy by which they approach the electrification journey, Bharti added that for a volume leader, it is the responsibility to bring in electrification with localisation and with scale.

Speaking at the India EV conclave in Chennai organised by Autocar Professional and the government of Tamil Nadu, Bharti said, “We want to build the foundation before we build a façade,” suggesting that instead of creating early hype in the EV race that has only just started, the company is taking a more measured view for the long term. 

He further explained that at this stage, while the volumes were not sufficient to ensure the viability of a battery plant, the company would rely on exports to build scale. “We thought the obvious choice was exports. When we launch our EV, it will be on the back of domestic and export volumes also, because of which the battery and cell manufacturing could become viable,” he added.

Since it will be our first product, Bharti said it has to be a serious product with good high specifications to give consumers confidence. “So, it will be a design from scratch for electric, high specs like 550 km range, 60 KwH battery, and of course we will follow up with a lot of models all the way till 2030,” he added.

To be sure, Maruti Suzuki had rigorously tested the Wagon R electric vehicle for the market but decided to shelve the plans as the vehicle was unable to meet the techno-commercial viability and was turning out to be expensive for end users.

Hence Maruti Suzuki is going whole hog with a new range of half a dozen EVs planned by the end of the decade, which will be across segments and price points to cater to a wide addressable market.  

Talking of a forecast for EV demand by 2030, he said that while predicting a number is difficult, manufacturers like them have to work on scenarios. What is important is that there is flexibility to address all business operations starting from the number of models, battery capacity, and plant configuration. In terms of EV penetration, he said, he projected 15-20% penetration by 2030. “Different estimates don’t matter much. What matters is flexibility and agility in our operations,” he noted.

Earlier this August, the company announced its new vision called Maruti Suzuki 3.0, which envisages the company will produce over 1.5 million electrified vehicles by FY31. The maker of Baleno and Grand Vitara will have a portfolio of 28 vehicles by the end of this business plan. With a vision to produce over 4 million vehicles per annum by the end of an 8-year business plan, the company in its annual report shared that about 15% or 6 lakh units will be battery electric vehicles, and there will be about 1 million units of hybrid vehicles at the end of the cycle. By then, the company will also have a portfolio of half a dozen zero-emission battery electric vehicles.

Out of the 4 million units production plan - 3.2 million units will be the output for the domestic market and Maruti Suzuki envisages about 40% of its output towards hybrids and EVs - which translates to about 1.2 million units for the local market. The company also guided that its export volumes will jump three times to 7.5 lakh units by FY31. 

Also read: 

Maruti likely to export Rs 1,000 crore worth li-on cells next year

‘Electrification is a global opportunity for India:’ KK Paul of TI Clean Mobility

‘Data is a key driver of the EV transition’: Amitabh Saran

‘Industry is collectively making investments to create EV supply chain’: Suman Mishra

TN expects EV investment in the state to double to Rs 80,000 crore in two years

'We must not look at electrification merely as an ICE-to-EV transition': Arun Roy

'India must stop China comparison, focus on its own capabilities': Vivek Vikram Singh, Sona Comstar

SABIC committed to long term EV development, making significant investments in India

In manufacturing, important to look at scale in a modular fashion, says Tata AutoComp's Ravi Chidambar

TN will strive to inculcate ‘Climate Common Sense’, says Industries Minister Dr TRB Rajaa

Tamil Nadu's policies has been consistent irrespective of regimes 

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