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Maruti Suzuki unveils first electric vehicle prototype, to start road tests next month

BusinessToday.In     September 7, 2018

Country's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India, on Friday unveiled its first electric vehicle prototype and said it will commence a nation-wide fleet testing of EV prototypes. The move is in line with auto manufacturer's target to bring EVs in India by 2020.

Speaking on the sidelines of Global Mobility Summit (MOVE) in New Delhi, Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India said, "Maruti Suzuki is committed to bring Electric Vehicle in 2020. The testing in multiple terrains and climatic conditions will help us get valuable insights from real life driving conditions. With these tests, we are confident that our Electric Vehicle will be well accepted by our valued customers."

The automaker said testing of these electric vehicles will help to gather critical inputs based on customer perspectives. "This extensive real life usage of the vehicles will help in validation and development of new technology and will help in creating a reliable and suitable EV to delight Indian customers," it added,

The company is reportedly planning to start road-running tests using a fleet of 50 EV prototype vehicles in India from next month. These prototype electric vehicles are developed on an existing model by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corporation and manufactured at Maruti Suzuki Gurugram Plant in India, exclusively for fleet testing, the carmaker said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Global Mobility Summit 'MOVE', an platform to attract investments in electric vehicles manufacturing and encourage people to use public transport. PM Modi said that his vision for the future of mobility in India is based on 7 C's -- common, connected, convenient, congestion-free, charged, clean, and cutting-edge.

Pushing for eco-friendly transportation in the country, the government on Thursday decided to do away with permits for electric vehicles (EVs) and those that run on alternative fuels. "We have decided to exempt EVs and all vehicles, including auto rickshaws, buses, taxis, run on alternative fuel like ethanol, biodiesel, CNG, methanol and biofuel, from permit requirements. We have taken the decision to make these permit-free," Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said yesterday.

The decision to keep EVs and other vehicles using alternative fuels comes amid government's efforts to promote eco-friendly vehicles through Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India scheme, which was launched in 2015.

However, Gadkari ruled out any financial incentives in the offing. "With GST at 12 per cent on EVs, I don't think there is any further need for subsidy... we need to think innovatively to bring in that environment. My ministry has prepared a detailed report to raise production of EVs through non-fiscal initiatives in the next five years," he clarified. The ministry is reportedly aiming for at least 15 per cent EVs in the country in the next five years.

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