Subcontinent's dominant auto player is testing electric cars ahead of 2020 rollout
Suzuki is furthering its electrified vehicle rollout, embarking on a testing program led by its India-based, partially-owned subsidiary Maruti Suzuki.
Maruti Suzuki is committed to bring an electric vehicle (EV) to India by 2020, and in the lead-up has commenced a nation-wide fleet testing program. The test cars are based on the Japan-market Suzuki Wagon R but made at the Gurugram Plant in India.
The company says this EV testing will focus on real-life usage, and speed up validation and development of “reliable and suitable” product for the subcontinent. That’s code for cheap and long-lasting, we’d guess.
Maruti Suzuki India boss Kenichi Ayukawa said “the testing in multiple terrains and climatic conditions will help us get valuable insights from real life driving conditions”.
For background, Maruti Suzuki is majority owned by the remarkably profitable Suzuki Motor Corp, but is not a full subsidiary. It’s also India’s biggest-volume car brand by some margin, with staggering (though reducing) market share of around 50%.
The reason why Maruti Suzuki’s EV plan is interesting is the trickle-down effects this will have on Suzuki’s other regions, potentially including Australia.
The company has kept its full EV plans pretty quiet so far, though it's already producing mild-hybrid (48V) product for Europe, and potentially will bring a Swift derivative with this tech to Australia soon. It’s also working with green leader Toyota on JVs.