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Skoda has confirmed that the brand has no plans to introduce its electric vehicles in India for the next five years. The bombshell of news was put out by the Brand Director of Skoda Auto India, Mr Zac Hollis.
Mr Hollis tweeted that, "Yes we will bring an EV to India but I cannot tell you when unlikely within the next 5 years". This decision from Skoda has left many automotive pundits thinking, as the announcement was made at a time when almost all car manufacturers in India were desperately trying to add at least one electric car under their belt for the Indian market.
Even though Skoda's recently launched Skoda Enyaq-iV is considered one of the best electric SUVs in the global market, its reluctance to launch its electric vehicle in India can be a reflection of its parent company EV plan for the country.
In a recent revelation from Volkswagen, the company will be closely studying the feasibility of the market for electric vehicles in India by paying close attention to the trend in sales of EVs from other brands before launching its own EVs in India.
This plan of Volkswagen Group for India is quite different to its global plan for EV, as it is planning aggressively to compete against Tesla in most global markets.
Currently, Skoda's line-up in India consists of three sedans and one SUV; Rapid, Octavia, Superb and Kushaq. If you are wondering about the Karoq, the Czech brand has silently removed it from its official website for India.
Out of the vehicles, Skoda's latest launch, the Kushaq has been received well in the Indian market and can be marked as one of the crucial launches in brand history with India.
Speaking to HT Auto, Volkswagen India's Brand Director Ashish Gupta said, "The inflexion point, I think, in India will come somewhere around 2025-26 when most of us OEMs will also start looking at electrification in India."
He further added that "The first form of electrification has started in India, and that wave will be mostly driven by two-wheelers and four-wheelers. I think, over the next three or four years, electrification in India will be fuelled by two-wheelers and commercial vehicles to a large extent. That's how it has happened globally. If you see the other comparable large economies like China, electrification was fuelled by two-wheelers and commercial vehicles."
Even though Audi and Porsche come under the Volkswagen group and have few of their electric cars in India, we have to keep in mind that these vehicles cost well over Rs 1 Crore in India.
Thoughts About The Skoda EV India Launch
One of the main issues with the electrification of vehicles in India is the charging infrastructure. Being the 7th largest country by size and the 2nd largest by population, setting up charging infrastructure is not easy. However, many automotive brands are trying to widen the charging infrastructure in India by various means.
At present, the last-mile delivery industry has been rapidly adapting to EVs as their default mode of transportation, and the two-wheeler industry has also started to catch up with new launches that can help the many prospective buyers overcome range related anxiety.
It would have been better for the country if big names such as Volkswagen came forward and accelerate the process by launching their electric vehicle in India.