In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Pawan Goenka, MD, M&M Ltd confirmed that the company will be launching the fully electric version of the KUV100 in the first quarter of the next fiscal year. The car, according to Goenka, will be priced under Rs 9 lakh, making it the most accessible electric SUV in India. The electric vehicle market in India has lately seen a lot of heat after Hyundai launched the Kona electric and MG unveiled the ZS Electric SUV.
Ahead of the push for electric vehicles for personal use, the Indian government is pushing to electrify the public transport arena first. Highlighting on the same, Goenka stated that around 4,000 electric buses would be on Indian roads in the next year and that the commercial viability for electric 3 and 4 wheelers has been established. Being a new technology, EVs are expected to cost more than its ICE counterparts in the Indian market. Hence, Goenka suggested that the EV sector needs better financing and that in the current scenario, financiers are reluctant to lend to EV players.
Currently, Mahindra has over 22,000 electric buses on Indian roads. The company is also focussing on shred mobility and working with multiple local governments and start-ups for the same. Hyundai and MG's foray into the electric segment sure turned some heads at the prospects of electric mobility in India. This was substantiated with the impressive response that Hyundai garnered for its SUV. With an acclaimed range of 452km. The car was launched in India at Rs 25.30 (ex-showroom). The Hyundai Kona gets a 39.2 kWh battery pack that produces a peak power of 134.13 bhp and 395 Nm and does 0-100 kmph in 9.7 seconds.
Similarly, MG also unveiled the ZS electric SUV as their second model in India after the Hector SUV. MG has equipped the ZS with a 44.5kWh battery pack that supplies 143PS and 353Nm of torque to a three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motor at the front-wheel. MG claims a 0-100 kmph in 8.5 seconds.
When plugged into a 15-ampere wall socket, the ZS can be recharged fully in 16-18 hours. The company will also install a 7.4kW AC home charger for free of cost that will recharge the battery in 6-8 hours. In addition to this, MG will also install a 50kW DC fast charger at its flagship dealerships that can recharge up to 80 per cent of the battery in just 50 minutes.