A new headquarters with a new car on display, could car buffs ask for more. The manufacturer in question is Hyundai Motor India Limited. On Tuesday they inaugurated their new corporate headquarters in Gurgaon and to make this moment that much more memorable they had Ioniq 5 on display. In not hidden that most of us have been eager to get a peek at this new machine. Why? The Ioniq 5 is a Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell SUV, but any move towards actually bringing these vehicles to the country would depend on government support and import duty.
Wait there’s more. Ioniq 5 EV is one of the most-watched cars today. Touted as a rival to the Tesla Model 3, Ioniq 5 EV has a 72.6kWh battery and is said to have a range of around 480 km. What this also shows is Hyundai jumping on the electrification bandwagon in a big way.
But before you get ahead of yourself and try booking an Ioniq 5, you have to wait. The units displayed at the headquarters clarified the company officials were only for display. Presently, they are studying the feasibility of bringing new battery-powered options into the country. “The EV movement is strong in the two and three-wheeled segments but will be more gradual in the four-wheeler segment. We are studying the feasibility and much would depend on customer preference,” said SS Kim, MD and CEO at HMIL in an official statement.
One of their key concerns highlighted Kim remain affordability and charging infrastructure for buyers. “We have heard that Tesla is seeking some duty cut on imports of CBUs. So that would be very helpful for the OEMs to reach some economy of scale in this very price competitive segment,” he said. The MD also added that the company’s speed of introducing such vehicles will depend on government support. In fact, he said that it would be pivotal in making electric cars more popular. Besides government support via subsidies, such cars also need demand from the market. Till the time companies are able to localise EV components and other infrastructure, EV imports could help generate some market in India.
Hyundai currently offers Kona EV in the PV segment and the vehicle competes against MG ZS EV and Tata Nexon EV. So, what are your current options in the electric passenger vehicle segment? While it is limited you do have the likes of Mercedes, Jaguar and Audi with battery-powered models via the CBU route. However, they need deep pockets, all of these EV models have priced around ₹1 crore or above. Now if you compare this to the electric two-wheeler market, there are several players in the offing. You can blame this partially on the state EV policies bringing down prices to almost the same levels as petrol-powered options.