Tata & Maruti To Enter Electric Vehicle Market As Government Shows Interest
Government of India has finally shown interest in electric cars, which has potential to transform the automobile industry and reduce pollution to a greater extent. As petrol and diesel continue to become dearer and its limited availability a huge question mark on our future generations, electric cars are no doubt the future. But our government had placed a blind eye towards this possibility till now.
In an ambitious project just announced, Ambuj Sharma, additional secretary, ministry of heavy industries said in the recently concluded Indian Automobile Conference in Mumbai that the government plans to introduce 15 lakh electric cars and pickup vehicles by 2020. If this project gets through, it can cause a ripple effect, sprouting the growth and awareness of electric cars all over India.
And if reports are to be believed, then Tata and Maruti have shown keen interest in this project. As part of the project, they will be providing last-mile connectivity for Delhi Metro Rail passengers using electric four-wheelers.
Mahindra & Mahindra are of course associated with this plan, as they are only big automobile company to offer commercially viable electric car in India: e2O which is even exported to 26 countries with more than 4000 variations. “e2O” is a modified version of India’s first electric car: REVAi.
REVAi was the first electric car to be manufactured and distributed inside India, when it was launched in the year 2001 by The Reva Electric Car Company (RECC). This company was formed as a partnership in 1994 between Chetan Maini of Maini Group of Companies in Bangalore and Amerigon Electric Vehicle Technologies (AEVT Inc.) of the USA. Till March 2011, 4000 units of this car were sold inside India which shows that due to lack of support from Government, the idea didn’t exactly catch public’s imagination.
Later on General Motors India collaborated with Reva to launch a new electric car called eSpark which was launched in the Delhi Auto Expo in 2010. Buoyed by the reception, Mahindra & Mahindra purchased 51% stake in the The Reva Electric Car Company by paying $9.5 million and renamed it to Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Limited.
Earlier this year, when Mahindra & Mahindra launched the first new electric car in India after 12 years of REVAi launch, everyone was hoping that the government will provide some sort of subsidy from the Government, but there was none.
This news made international headlines as governments from all over the world are trying to encourage and promote manufacturing and selling of electric cars. It is priced Rs 5,95,000 for buyers inside Delhi and for others, it is costing Rs 8,39,000. Mahindra started selling this car in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Kochi and Ahmedabad.
But slowly, the scene is changing. Government has realized that electric cars should be promoted and this is the reason of this ambitious project of rolling out 15 lakh electric cars by 2020.
Maruti is already ready with an hybrid version of its Eeco but is waiting for positive signals from the Government before it is rolled out commercially.
Mahindra & Mahindra is also planning to convert its best seller Maxximo and launch an electric version. And Tata is also not left behind as it is working on its first electric vehicle for India, “Magic” which is modeled on the “Ace” series of vehicles launched in UK which are electric powered.
For electric cars, this is the right time to be included among main stream auto mobiles; and the government has just taken the right step. Let us see how successful it goes from here!