Maruti Suzuki plans electric and CNG small cars

Tinuku - Maruti Suzuki India Ltd plans to electrify its small cars also to push compressed natural gas (CNG) cars as an alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles in the coming years. Chairman R.C. Bhargava said on Tuesday, as the country’s largest car maker seeks to tap a potentially large market for affordable eco-friendly vehicles.

The company intends to sell 2 million cars by fiscal 2020 and 3 million units by fiscal 2025. The Alto, Wagon R, Celerio and A-Star are in Maruti Suzuki’s small car portfolio. Suzuki joined with Toyota Motor Corp. last year to develop small electric cars for India. The collaboration was extended to hybrid technology and the Indian units of both the companies will also sell each other’s products in the country.

Tinuku Maruti Suzuki plans electric and CNG small cars

“The Indian car market is unique in that 75% of the cars sold are below 4m in length and cost under ₹6.5 lakh at factory level. Electrification of these cars has to be considered in terms of their affordability as well as the creation of the required charging infrastructure all over the country,” Bhargava said.

“As the number of cars with internal combustion engines will increase substantially in the next 10 years. It would obviously be better to use alternative technologies and fuels that reduce the consumption of petrol and diesel, rather than produce only electric cars and internal combustion cars,” Bhargava said.

“CNG is a clean fuel already being used and its usage can expand subject to the distribution network expanding. It would be a good intermediate step. The soft option of passing on rising costs to the customer has not been adopted by us. Instead, hedging activities have helped in reducing the impact of a weakening rupee,” Bhargava said.