Hyundai is working on an affordable small electric car for India

The Hyundai Motor Company logo is pictured at the New York International Auto Show in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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NEW DELHI, June 16 (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) has started developing a small electric car for India for the future, even as it focuses on introducing more premium models in the country starting this year, an executive said. Reuters on Thursday.

Various departments are working on issues such as the charging ecosystem, sales network, manufacturing and what kind of assembly process the automaker should have, said Tarun Garg, director of sales, marketing and service. for Hyundai India, in an interview.

“We need to consider as much localization as possible,” Garg said, referring to sourcing and producing components locally to control costs and keep cars affordable.

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Although he did not comment on when the company would launch its small electric vehicle (EV) in India, Garg said the timing had to be right “so that we are able to offer it at the right price”.

“The ecosystem should be ready, we should have enough charge,” he said.

The small electric vehicle is part of Hyundai’s broader plan to invest 40 billion rupees ($512 million) to launch six electric vehicles in India by 2028, making a push for clean driving in a country with some of the cities the most polluted in the world. Read more

In India, electric vehicles account for less than 1% of total car sales, but the government is aiming for a 30% share by 2030 as it seeks to reduce pollution and fuel imports.

Until its small electric vehicle hits the roads, Hyundai will launch high-end models this year starting with its Ioniq 5 electric crossover and gradually moving down the price chain, Garg said.

The Ioniq 5, which has a range of around 300 miles, starts at around $44,000 in the US.

“When it came to internal combustion engine cars, we had this bottom-up approach. In electrics, we try the top-down approach,” he said, adding that for mass-market electric vehicles to succeed , it needed widespread recharging. network and lower battery prices.

Hyundai launched its Kona EV in India in 2019, mainly to test the market, but sales were lukewarm as the price was high and public charging infrastructure was negligible. Garg said the lessons learned from the Kona will feed into his future EV strategy in India.

($1 = 78.0499 Indian rupees)

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Reporting by Aditi Shah; Editing by David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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