Luxury carmakers like Audi and Mercedes Benz are stepping forward to bring electrification journey of passenger vehicles in India. According to the company officials, several states are introducing EV policies which encourages electric four wheelers.
The FAME II scheme laid down by the center has not provided direct benefit for personal passenger vehicle. However the company officials feel that incentives like 5 per cent GST on electric cars will help.
In the last week, Audi commenced its electrification journey in India with the introduction of three all- electric SUVs under the e-tron brand. On the other hand, Mercedes Benz has been selling its all- electric SUV EQC since October 2020.
Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India commented that the overall policy at present has focused primarily on the two wheelers and three wheelers. He affirmed, several state government are coming forward to give incentives to electric cars.
He further stated to PTI that the states have already declared there won’t be registration cost on the cars. It is know that the GST on electric cars is 5 per cent. So these are certain initiatives which the government has put in place. He further hopes that this will encourage luxury players to sell cars in the electric segment and these are some positive steps.
According to reports, Gujarat and Maharashtra have declared their respective EV policies.
Gujarat has provided demand incentives of nearly Rs 10,000/kWh for e2W, electric three wheeler (e3W) and electric four wheelers (e4W) beyond subsidies available from the central government. The maximum ex-factory prices has been capped at Rs 1.5 lakh, Rs 5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh for the three vehicles categories respectively.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra is providing demand incentives of Rs 5,000/kWh on 10,000 electric cars. The maximum incentive per vehicle is kept at Rs 1.5 lakh. The road tax and registration charges have been excluded as well.
In the past year, Delhi had put forward a purchase incentives of Rs 10,000/kWh of battery capacity per electric four wheelers along with a maximum incentives of Rs 1.5 lakh per vehicle for the first 1,000 e-cars to be registered. It further facilitated a wavier of road tax and registration fees on all EVs.
Regarding the electrification of personal passenger vehicle in India Dhillon expressed that he firmly believe that electric is the future. “We have decided that our focus is definitely going to be electric cars,” he added.
Audi India is looking forward for a 15 per cent of its total sales in the country to come from EVs by the year 2025. Furthermore, it proposed to bring few EV models out of the 20 electric cars that would be launched globally by 2025 to India as well.
Dhillon added that their focus is very clear, short term to long term. He further stated that the company is focusing on electric cars and they are quite confident about this topic.”
On the other hand, Mercedes Benz India Vice President Santosh Iyer remarked that Mercedes Benz will play a pivotal role in the introduction of latest technologies and products from their global portfolio for the Indian customers.
He expressed that the company is very satisfied with the positive customer response to the EQC since its India debut along with the subsequent interest and awareness it has created for the luxury EV segments.
Iyer affirmed about a strong order intake for the EQC that states a sustained customer interest for India’s first luxury EV. Further, he confirmed that the next batch of EQC is expected to arrive by September.
According to Iyer, the EQ brand is experiencing a ‘massive success’ globally together with strong customer response to the EQS luxury sedan. He added that in the H1 2021 nearly 39,000 all electric vehicles sold, with over 19,000 units of EQA, EQC and EQV models.
He asserted that some of these models will eventually get launched in the Indian markets and they are very excited on the success story of EQ brand in India as well.
Iyer commented, “While the government focus on electrification of two wheelers, three wheelers and public transport is in right direction, any additional incentives in form of reduction in import duties will enable commencement of local assembly of world class EVs such as the EQC, which will create a cost parity with the ICE vehicle and lead to faster adoption of luxury EVs.”
Dhillon too expressed that electrification will be a journey where they have to be patient and carry on with their work on infrastructure apart from cars to be successful considering it to be a technical one.