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(Photo: AFP)
(Photo: AFP)

Opinion | A green race

A combination of the government’s policy incentives, market dynamics and environmental imperatives would drive down prices of non-polluting vehicles

Will electric cars soon be within the reach of the average Indian car buyer? Hyundai has declared plans to invest 2,000 crore in India to roll out a 10-lakh electric car. Mahindra is expected to launch a micro SUV in the 8-9 lakh range next year. Tata Motors’ electric version of its forthcoming Altroz hatchback could hit the streets by 2020. Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Nissan also have their eyes set on this emerging market. All this suggests that a combination of policy incentives, market dynamics and environmental imperatives will drive down prices of green vehicles.

Automakers may have been reluctant to give up on internal-combustion engines, but they do realise that the market could transform over the next decade. So far, electric cars have been too expensive. Hyundai’s Kona electric SUV is priced above 25 lakh. Once cheaper options arrive, competition should spur firms to invest in technology to boost the performance of their cars. Buyers will then be spoilt for choice at attractive price-points. The establishment of a network of charging stations could take care of the rest. For now, EV makers need to match fossil-fuel vehicles on the price-performance equation.

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