Home / Companies / News /  Carmakers rush to occupy premium EV space in India

Electrical vehicle (EV) manufacturers are looking to rapidly increase their share in the below 1-crore premium passenger car segment with the launch of new models.

So far, EV car manufacturers predominantly catered to the sub- 25 lakh category in India with Tata Nexon, Nexon Max and Tigor EV, MG ZS EV and Hyundai’s Kona having a fair share of the market, and the 1 crore-plus luxury segment dominated by the likes of Mercedes Benz EQC, Jaguar i-Pace and Audi e-tron.

However, the focus has now shifted to premium offerings with Kia and BMW launching high-performance, long-range electric cars in the 60-70 lakh segment, and Hyundai ready to roll out the Ioniq 5 with an expected price tag of 40-50 lakh. Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 have been built on dedicated EV platforms.

EV6 is already a global best-seller and marks the South Korean carmakers entry into India’s e-mobility space. Kia India will import 100 cars for deliveries beginning September, but has received 355 bookings. It may have to import more units than it had initially planned for.

In view of the global uncertainties around semi-conductor supplies and rising demand for the EV6, the waiting period for Indian buyers will be longer. EV6 has a certified range of 528km.

The parent, Kia Corp, committed $22 billion to develop 14 battery EVs within the next five years, including a ground-up India-specific sport utility vehicle, which is expected to be rolled out in 2025.

“We are evaluating all the 14 models to see which ones can be brought to the Indian market and will suit Indian consumers. We are also talking to potential customers to understand what their aspirations are," Hardeep Brar, vice president and head, marketing and sales, Kia India, said.

Kia’s competitive edge has been its aggressive pricing and attractive value proposition with feature-loaded cars such as the Seltos.

However, EV6 will have to jostle for space with the likes of BMW’s i4 sedan with a price tag of 69.9 lakh, just 5 lakh more than the EV6 at 59.95 lakh for the rear-wheel drive, and 64.95 lakh for the four-wheel drive variant.

“Our strategy has been to enter any segment with one of our bigger cars and then move downwards. For instance, we launched the Seltos first, followed by Sonet, and then the Carnival first, followed by the Carens. We are perceived to be a premium brand in India so we believe we are positioned well with the EV6," Brar said.

Alisha Sachdev
Alisha Sachdev is an assistant editor with Mint based in Delhi. She reports on the auto and mobility sector, with a special focus on emerging clean mobility technologies. She also focusses on developing multimedia properties for Mint and currently hosts the 'In A Minute' series and the Mint Primer podcast. Previously, she has worked with CNBC-TV18 and NDTV.
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