When it launched the Kona Electric in July 2019, Hyundai was the first to sell a long-range electric car in India. While its premium pricing has kept its sales relatively low, it has helped those who can afford it to encourage the adoption of electric mobility. Recently, the carmaker reaffirmed its plans for the introduction of a highly localised EV offering in India.
It is safe to assume, given the ongoing trend, that this made-for-India EV from Hyundai is likely to be in the shape and size of a compact or subcompact SUV. While the Kona Electric is a battery-powered version of an existing SUV that is also available with internal combustion engines, it would probably be possible to build a new mass-market offering of electric vehicles from the ground up. In order to make it more affordable, Hyundai is said to be aiming for up to 90 per cent localisation of the new EV.
The car manufacturer has not publicly discussed the timeline for this new Hyundai EV, but we expect it to be shown sometime in 2022. A competitive range of at least 300 km is expected to be offered, while the 39.2 kWh battery offered in the present Kona EV has a claimed range of 452 km. Even the mass-market EV, as a Hyundai product, will offer premium features like other SUVs in its portfolio. While our estimate is 2022, the arrival of this Hyundai EV also depends in the meantime on the development of the local charging infrastructure.
Although a well-equipped mass-market EV with a range of over 300 km would probably be priced at around Rs 15 lakh, Hyundai could also offer it through subscription-based ownership. Some reports suggest that the Venue (a global model) foundations are also intended for electrification, and before the locally-made mass-market EV, we can expect mild-hybrid offerings.
The electric passenger car selection is currently limited to a handful of models, with only three offering a claimed range of over 300km. The Tata Nexon EV, based on the ICE-powered sub-4m SUV, which claims 312km on a full charge with prices ranging from Rs 13.99 lakh to Rs 16.25 lakh, is the most affordable and best-selling EV currently on sale.* In the meantime, Hyundai Kona Electric retails from Rs 23.76 lakh* onwards and its closest rival, the MG ZS EV, starts from Rs 20.88 lakh*.