Indian Government plans of switching to completely towards electric automobiles in the span of the next five to six years. The government’s proposal to phase out all non-electric vehicles has agitated the automobile makers. Especially as the discussions are timed around the decline in auto sales in the country.
Currently, there are only a few thousand electric cars on Indian roads. While globally, electric vehicles contribute to about three percent of the total automotive market.
In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Steffen Knapp, director, passenger cars, said that Volkswagen finds it unviable to bring out electric vehicles in the Indian market at the moment.
Knapp expressed that Indian consumers will not opt for electric vehicles so fast because the business case between the internal combustion engine and the electric engine is still not positive. And also that It might be unviable for them to provide an electric vehicle as all the equipment that a customer wants today at a cost point which is equivalent to a petrol-powered engine.
Moreover, Hyundai, India’s number-two passenger car maker by sales volumes, brought out India’s first long-range electric passenger car, the Kona, at a price tag of Rs 25.3 lakh.
Knapp said “I don’t see a customer ready to pay Rs 2.5 million for an electric car when they can get a classical combustion engine of a bigger size in that price…Indian people are very focused on value for money. Therefore, it needs to fit both sides. The customer should get value and the OEM needs to survive too”
Given the understanding of the dip in the market, Knapp expressed that he has full faith that the market will pick up sooner and their position in the Indian market will remain strong for the long run.