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    Suzuki Motor may soon start testing its electric scooter in India

    Synopsis

    "We will respect the government policy. We will make some prototypes. But there is no infrastructure — the charging system, battery station,” said Satoshi Uchida, the managing director of Suzuki Motorcycle India. When the company eventually launches its electric two-wheelers in India, it stands to benefit from the EV infrastructure of Maruti Suzuki.

    Agencies
    The government is pushing the automobile industry towards electric mobility to combat worsening air quality and rising petroleum imports in the country.
    Amid the ongoing industry-wide push for moving to electric vehicle (EV) technology, Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor’s two-wheeler unit may start testing its electric scooter on the streets of India as soon as next year, but will likely wait for infrastructure to develop before marketing the product.

    "We will respect the government policy. We will make some prototypes. But there is no infrastructure — the charging system, battery station,” said Satoshi Uchida, the managing director of Suzuki Motorcycle India.

    When the company eventually launches its electric two-wheelers in India, it stands to benefit from the EV infrastructure of Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker and Suzuki Motor’s cash cow.

    "We can coordinate with Maruti, using the same core technology; not only technology but (even their vendor and EV infrastructure) network. It is our advantage,” Satoshi told ET on the side lines of EICMA 2019 here.

    His comments come weeks after Bajaj Auto showcased its first electric scooter under the Chetak brand with plans of a market launch as soon as January 2020. India’s two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp has invested in electric vehicle maker Ather Energy to prepare itself for a shift towards electric mobility.

    Uchida said like every technology, EVs would also take time to be accepted by the masses. The first- and second-generation electric two-wheelers in India may not be a success, he said. "We don't believe it (electric scooters) will be very successful immediately; it takes time. We are carefully monitoring the situation — what is the bottleneck, what is the issue.”

    A little over 50,000 electric two-wheelers were sold in India in the first six months of fiscal 2020, of which only 3,000 were comparable on performance with conventional models.

    The government is pushing the automobile industry towards electric mobility to combat worsening air quality and rising petroleum imports in the country. It even mooted banning all combustion engine two-wheelers with engine capacity less than 150cc in favour of electric vehicles by 2025.

    Uchida said while a move towards EVs was necessary from the environment perspective, there were some concerns that needed to be kept in mind. EVs would reduce the country’s dependence on crude imports, but increase the dependence on lithium for making the batteries. Once EVs take off in India, both consumption and price would go up for this limited resource, he said, adding that such a situation would only benefit China as it controlled vast lithium reserves.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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    3 Comments on this Story

    Gandhi Vadlapatla270 days ago
    Suzuki, Tata Motors, Bajaj, and other MNCs are spending good time to give the best EV product to Indian customers. We do expect a better and reliable product in the market soon. Today most manufacturers are importing sub-standard Chinese products to make their presence in EVs. Only the quality product will survive in the long run.
    Kochar Bipin270 days ago
    Maruti Suzuki has been investing over 4000 cr a year in R&D and royalties for state of the art technologies - and will be the technology leader in this field. The key advantage Suzuki Motors has is the ability to piggyback on Maruti''s technology and infrastructure at a nominal royalty to become the leader in EV scooters and motorcycles.
    Jayeshkumar Panchal271 days ago
    There is a way forward for EVs to be successful and still not having to depend too much on these Batteries!.
    Our Automobiles made this Huge Energy Mistake right from their creation more than a century and half ago, of not recovering their Kinetic Energy while braking and using that same Energy for powering their next Acceleration, and instead wasting away all that Kinetic Energy as Heat in those Friction Brakes and then stupidly using a lot of New Energy, Engine Power and Fuel for their Next Acceleration. This Simple and Silly Energy Mistake has unfortunately remained till date in all our Automobiles even after a Century of Motoring, and this huge Air Pollution in our Cities; but is sadly being repeated even in our Electric, Hybrid and Hydrogen vehicles, with even the Latest of these Green Cars still using the Energy Killing Friction Brakes!, ..that too on all 4 wheels!.
    A Drastic Reduction in Energy consumption of our Automobiles is possible by getting rid of those Friction Brakes and using a Simple Energy Mechanism for the Recovery of most of the Kinetic Energy while Braking, and reusing that same Energy, Stored in a Transmission, for powering their Next Acceleration!. ..just like how a simple Energy Mechanism in a pull-back Toy Car does it so beautifully!. ..Trrrr (Braking), ..Vroom (= Free Acceleration!).
    It is all about making our Automobiles to follow the Laws of Motion (1st and 2nd Laws of Newton’s Laws of Motion) starting with getting Rid of those Friction Brakes.
    The Economic Times