Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava on Friday said the company plans to build electric cars but there was still no clear roadmap on how the government aimed to achieve its target to electrify all new vehicles by 2030. "We will make electric cars but I can't give you the date just now because it is all very much a work in progress," R.C. Bhargava told journalists after the company announced a 3 per cent rise in the July-September quarter profit at Rs 2,484.3 crore.
The government is working on a new auto policy that promotes the use of electric cars, and a draft is likely to be made public before the end of the year. This is a shift from an earlier policy that promoted hybrid and electric vehicles. Sales of electric cars in India remain negligible, however, mainly due to the high cost of batteries which make the vehicles expensive and out of reach for many buyers.
A lack of charging stations also makes the whole proposition unviable for now. Maruti's parent, Suzuki Motor Corp, has electric car technology which it can provide, Bhargava said. The Japanese parent was also in talks with Toyota Motor Corp to form an alliance which may include sharing technologies like hybrid and electric.
Maruti also manufactures hybrid cars, demand for which has gone down after the government went in for a sharp increase in taxes on them. Bhargava said the future of hybrid cars in India would depend on the level of taxes and the company was in talks with the government to lower them. He also aid that while the company continued to expect double digit sales growth over the remainder of fiscal 2018, it would slow from the 18 per cent posted in the second quarter. Maruti, which provides the bulk of Suzuki Motor's revenues, sold a total of 492,118 vehicles during the quarter, up about 18 percent from a year ago.