With surging petrol-diesel prices day by day, and ever-increasing pollution, India is in dire need of more budget-friendly electric vehicles. Currently, the most affordable EV options in the mass market for car buyers are in the form of Tata Tigor EV, Tata Nexon EV and Mahindra E Verito with all of them costing between 10 to 15 Lakh.
So, time couldn’t be any more perfect than now for the country’s largest carmaker to finally launch the much-awaited electric avatar of its Wagon R. The current budget EV segment is wide open right now, but any more delay in the launch process, and MSIL could have to face new competitors in the segment.
Maruti Suzuki has been testing the Wagon R EV for quite some time now, and going by recently leaked pictures, the electric car looks completely production-ready. The pictures of a production-ready unit of the WagonR EV were shared online by a Facebook page showing prominent branding at the back and front of the hatchback. In terms of design and dimensions, the white-colored test mule looks quite similar to a regular WagonR. While there is no official release date by the Indian automaker, but multiple reports suggest the Maruti EV could go on sale as early as August of this year.
Maruti Suzuki had previously confirmed that the Wagon EV will be limited to fleets and commercial operators, at least initially. But the rising demand for EVs in the Indian market and a huge gap in the budget segment might force the automaker to replan its strategy. And even if it doesn’t initially make it to the mass market the Wagon R EV will pave a path for more EVs by the carmakers to be launched in the near future. Nonetheless, the electric car market is expanding continuously, and it is expected to only grow whether Maruti wants to join the party or be late to it.
Tata which is the most vocal in the electrification drive in India is already riding high on the tide. Since its launch in January 2020, the Indian brand has already sold 4616 units till now, even with the limited supporting public EV infrastructure in India. In the month of April, India registered 749 electric cars, out of which Nexon EV alone counts for 525 unit sales. (One doesn’t need the genius of Maruti’s top management or sales team to see the potential of the budget EV segment).
With its widely spread dealerships and service centres, MSIL (Maruti Suzuki India Limited) could easily see a good number of EVs rolling out of the showrooms in no time with their large fanbase, but only if they act soon. Any more delay and the Indian manufacturer will lose on potential buys as a lot of other brands are also in the process of launching their products this year.
Tata itself is planning to launch an electric avatar of its new yet highly popular hatchback, the Altroz. The car is already becoming a hot cake in its petroleum version and the introduction of the Altroz EV will only give a major boost to Tata’s electric future along with Nexon EV. Mahindra could also launch its eKUV100 any time now, and this could be the cheapest electric offering in the Indian car market.
So anyone from MSIL reading this, it’s now or never!