NEW DELHI: MG Motors India Pvt Ltd, one of the new entrants in the domestic market, plans to increase its investment in the electric vehicle space in India from 2022.
The company expects economy to return to normalcy in a couple of years and feels such zero emission vehicles will get a significant traction in the domestic market in the medium to long term, a senior executive at the automaker said.
MG Motor will launch an affordable electric vehicle in the range of ₹12-15 lakh which will qualify for the subsidy under the Indian government's FAME or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles scheme. The company will also launch a new variant of ZS electric vehicle that will come with a 500-kilometre range.
It also plans to increase its localization of components of electric vehicles and start assembling lithium-ion batteries and other critical components in India.
Rajeev Chaba, president, MG Motor India said, “This is our mid-term to long term plan. We want to double our bets on electric vehicles in the medium to long term and want to be the leader (in the EV space). That’s why we will come with a battery with 500 kilometres range to show our intent."
China's SAIC Corp-owned company will also launch its electric sport utility vehicle, ZS, in five new tier-one cities from June. Initially, the company had focused only on metro cities. The company launched the ZS electric vehicle in January this year, as its second product in the Indian market after Hector, a mid-size sport utility vehicle.
These plans are being firmed up despite a border standoff between India and China and restrictions imposed by India on Chinese investments.
“Government basically has changed the procedure, and has not said no (to any investments), to which one has to apply and the application has to go through that process and may be it takes another two weeks time for approval. This is what the government has even clarified to us," Chaba said.
The Indian automobile industry is expected to see a significant decline in sales during the current year due to covid-19 induced economic downturn and as most manufacturers are expected to delay their planned investments in different segments, including electric vehicles.
“Even in 2021 everyone is talking about 8% GDP growth because the base will go down in 2020. So, 2022 will be a good year and all these plans are lined up for then. The battery assembly will happen in our plant but whether it will be done by us or a vendor that has not been decided," added Chaba.