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Suzuki, Toyota to spearhead India's electric mobility programme; to introduce electric cars in country by 2020

Suzuki, Toyota to spearhead India's electric mobility programme; to introduce electric cars in country by 2020

India is the world's fifth biggest car market, and car companies see a lot of potential considering the Indian government's ambitious plans to convert the entire vehicle fleet in the country to electric by 2030.

In the wake of push from world powers to reduce carbon emission and India's readiness to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, 2016, Japanese auto giants Toyota and Suzuki have decided to work collaboratively to introduce electric cars in India by 2020. India is the world's fifth biggest car market, and car companies see a lot of potential considering the Indian government's ambitious plans to convert the entire vehicle fleet in the country to electric by 2030.

The Japanese auto majors signed a deal and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in February. Suzuki - which holds 50 per cent passenger vehicle market share through its subsidiary Maruti - and Toyota - the world's largest automotive manufacturer- will soon sign another MOU on considering a cooperative structure for the introduction of electric vehicles (EVs). A company statement said while Toyota would provide technical support, Suzuki would produce EVs and supply some vehicles to Toyota.

Both the companies also plan a comprehensive study on charging stations, training for sales network staff members, and treatment of batteries, Suzuki said in a statement. Sources said Suzuki could make electric motors and batteries at a recently opened plant in Gujarat where it also plans to construct lithium-ion batteries. The Indian government has already decided to cut tax on EVs from 29 per cent to 12 per cent.

With rising pollution levels, especially in Northern India, the government is pushing ministries and government departments to go for greener cars. State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, which is spearheading the government's electric mobility programme in India, is planning to come up with a fresh tender of 10,000 units by the end of this fiscal year.

EESL, a joint venture of four power PSUs - NTPC, REC, PFC and POWERGRID - had in the past disrupted the LED bulb industry by floating bulk tenders that lead to a eight-fold decline in price of a 9 watt LED bulb in three years. In the case of electric vehicles, an industry still in its infancy in the country, it is trying a similar trick to provide a springboard for manufacturing of electric cars in the country. In August earlier this year, it came out with its first tender of 10,000 vehicles. The first phase of 500 vehicles is being supplied by the two successful bidders - Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra.