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EVs, hybrids on MG Motor agenda for India

PTI     April 2, 2019

New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) British automaker MG Motor plans to bring hybrid and electric vehicles in India as it gears up to introduce four new vehicles in the country in the next two years, a senior company official said Tuesday. The company, which will kick off its journey in India with the launch of Hector in June, Tuesday showcased its iSMART Next Gen technology developed in partnership with global technology players including Microsoft, Adobe and SAP with an aim to make its SUV "the first internet car" in India. "In the next two years we will be launching four models in India. The first will be the SUV Hector followed by an electric vehicle later in the year," MG Motor India President and Managing Director Rajeev Chaba said here. Apart from the internal combustion engine (ICE) version, the company will also bring a 48-volt hybrid version in Hector, he added. A 48-volt hybrid is essentially an ICE vehicle with a mild hybrid technology that uses a 48-volt electric motor with a 48-volt lithium ion battery that allows vehicle to run even when the engine is switched off. The battery pack stores energy generated from braking. When asked about MG Motor India's strategy for EVs and hybrids in the backdrop of FAME II scheme leaving out such vehicles for personal usage from subsidies, Chaba said it hasn't altered the company's plans. "When we planned for EVs in India, we made it irrespective of support from FAME I or II," he said. Under the Rs 10,000-crore FAME II scheme, three and four-wheelers for only public transport and commercial purposes will get subsidies, although two-wheelers for personal usage will get the benefits. Asked if the company planned to produce the mild hybrid version of Hector at its Halol plant, he said the ultimate aim would be to that in order to keep prices affordable. However, MG Motor India may have to look at importing the car as CBU for the initial period. On the iSMART Next Gen technology, Chaba said it would make MG Hector "the first internet car in India that will redefine connected mobility". "The integration of internet with cars opens up a gamut of features that can ensure a seamless and updated ownership experience for MG customers in India," he said. With the advent of 5G connectivity in India, MG cars will have the potential to add new, breakthrough features to further enrich the car driving experience, he said. The iSMART features embedded sim card will ensure that the car remains connected, providing seamless connectivity enabling users to receive real-time software, entertainment content and application updates, besides giving live traffic navigation, locating cars remotely and geofencing it so that the car cannot be taken out of a predefined zone. Last year MG Motor India had stated that it would increase its investment to over Rs 5,000 core in the next five to six years as part of its plans to launch new products in the country. PTI RKL RVK RVK


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