The Maruti Wagon R EV will be MSIL's first fully electric car for the Indian market as per a report from last month. A new article from BusinessLine shines more light on the selection of the Wagon R over other models as Maruti's first EV.
A source privy to the future EV plans of Maruti Suzuki revealed to the publication that -
It makes sense for the company to make an electric version of WagonR as it is a five-seater and can hold the weight of the battery better than the Alto.
Consumer surveys conducted by the company earlier this year have played a part in zeroing in on the Maruti Wagon R as the basis for the first EV offering. The report adds that proximity to Suzuki's proposed battery manufacturing facility in Gujarat will not dictate the electrification of existing models. Simply put, the EV does not necessarily have to roll out from Suzuki Gujarat plant.
In FY 2020-21, MSIL plans to produce 30,000 - 35,000 EVs in India. This number could include the cars Suzuki will manufacture for Toyota as part of a MoU signed by the two Japanese companies.
The Maruti Wagon R moves into a new generation by the end of this year. In all probability, the new model is developed keeping electrification mind, which would mean that the placement of EV components, especially the battery pack, will not be an afterthought.
Currently, the Wagon R starts at INR 4.19 lakhs and tops out at INR 5.39 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). Its EV derivative is likely to carry a sticker price of more than INR 6 lakhs as Kenichi Ayukawa, MD & CEO, MSIL, believes "it's very difficult... practically impossible" to achieve a starting price lower than that.
[source - BusinessLine]