Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) has sought incentives and infrastructure from the government to support electric vehicles. The development comes at a time when the company announced that it will start manufacturing electric cars from second-half of next year at its facility near Chennai for the domestic market.
After signing a MoU with Tamil Nadu government to invest Rs 7,000 crore at its Chennai facility, B C Datta, Vice-President — Corporate Affairs, Hyundai Motor India Ltd said production of the electric car ‘Kona’ would go on-stream from the second-half of 2019 and it would be sold only in the domestic market initially.
"There is a good market and demand, but we need government's support by way of incentives and infrastructure (charging stations)," Datta said.
"The Power Ministry has taken steps to increase the charging infrastructure, but it should look at reducing customs duty. While was reduced to zero for the battery, it is yet to be reduced for other components," he said.
He noted that while the battery, motor and electronics systems account for nearly 60-70 per cent of an electric vehicle and they need to be imported, the body can be manufactured locally.
“We want to localise as much as possible, for which we need volume. Today, electric vehicle accounts only one per cent of the total car sales in the country,” said Datta.
Commenting on the Rs 7,000 crore investment, he said, it would be used for developing new models, machinery and new technology, including electric vehicles.
With the new investment, Hyundai’s cumulative investment in Tamil Nadu will be Rs 23,900 crore. It will be the largest investment of an auto company in a single location in India.