New Delhi: Porsche AG, the luxury sports car brand of Volkswagen AG, will launch its first electric car, the Taycan, by March 2020 in India. Porsche, which already sells its range of petrol-only sportscars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in the country, expects customers in luxury car segment to move towards environment-friendly vehicles.

Porsche stopped manufacturing diesel vehicles in 2018, in the wake of the emissions scandal at parent Volkswagen Group.

Porsche launched the 911 Carrera S and the Carrera S Cabriolet in India on Thursday, priced at 1.82 crore and 1.99 crore, respectively.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch event, Porsche India director Pavan Shetty said that the company will roll out the Taycan in the first quarter of 2020.

The Taycan, which has a claimed range of 500km, can be driven for 7-10 days within city limits on one single charge.

“There is a strong push from the government for setting up charging stations, but because the number of manufacturers who will launch electric vehicles, infrastructure will come up fast and there will be a strong business case for a lot of entrepreneurs. Taycan comes with 800-volt architecture, which means you will have enough charge to drive 100km after charging the cars for just four minutes," Shetty said.

Indicating the company’s shift towards manufacturing ecofriendly vehicles, Porsche has launched hybrid powertrain in products such as the Cayenne and Panamera.

Porsche has decided to move away from manufacturing diesel vehicles.

“Last year, Porsche decided to move away from diesel globally. The perception in India is that luxury vehicles are all about diesel and more so for SUVs. We launched our product in the segment last year. For us, it’s a very important milestone and more to see how the customers react to the brand. It’s one of the few SUVs which sell in 100% petrol," said Shetty.

As governments across the world are urging vehicle manufacturers to develop vehicles that emit less or no carbon, luxury vehicle manufacturers, including Volvo AG and Porsche, have decided to stop manufacturing diesel vehicles.

“I don’t want to demonise diesel. It is a powertrain which we don’t have since it had a lower share in our global product portfolio. Its share was around 12%," added Shetty.

Porsche will launch four products in India over the next 8-10 months to reverse its fortunes as sales remained subdued in 2018. The luxury sports car maker’s sales dropped by 19% to 348 units in 2018 from 430 in 2017.

“For us, business-wise, last year was stable, while optically, in terms of numbers, it might look low. We did not have the Cayenne, which comprises almost 46-47% of our total sales for the first seven months in the year. The deliveries started only in October. So we lost out on the volumes," said Shetty.

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