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Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Suzuki announced that the company will begin testing electric scooters on Indian roads as soon as next year, but will wait until infrastructure is in place before launching products.
*images for representational purposes only
The company plans to build some prototypes and test them, but feels there is a lack of infrastructure like battery stations and charging facilities in the country. Suzuki also plans to use the infrastructure built by Maruti Suzuki when it launches electric scooters in India.
Mr Satoshi Uchida, the Managing Director at Suzuki Motorcycle India said, "We can coordinate with Maruti, using the same core technology; not only technology but (even their vendor and electric vehicle infrastructure) network. It is our advantage."
Mr Uchida's statement comes within weeks of Bajaj Auto showcasing their first electric vehicle, the e-Chetak, which is scheduled for a January 2020 launch.
Suzuki feels that electric vehicles will take time to accepted by the general population. The company feels that the first two-generations of electric vehicles will not be successful models, and is currently researching bottlenecks and other related issues.
Suzuki also feels that once electric vehicles start dominating the Indian markets, consumption of, and prices of lithium will increase. Dependency on Lithium means more dependency on China, as the country controls vasts reserves.
The Indian government has been pushing the automobile industry towards electric mobility to combat worsening air quality and rising petroleum imports in the country. It even offers subsides through its FAME II Scheme. The government even supports banning all internal combustion engine two-wheelers that are under 150cc in favour of electric vehicles by 2025.
Just over 50,000 electric two-wheelers were sold in India in the first six months of the current financial year (April 2019-March 2020), only 3,000 of which were at par on performance with conventional models.
Thoughts About Suzuki Wanting To Test Electric Scooters In India
We think Suzuki is readying itself to launch a few electric scooters in the country. They're planning to start testing, and use MSIL's infrastructure set up to help boost their own. This is a smart move by Suzuki. Why invest heavily in charging and battery infrastructure when you have a sister company (only the largest four wheeler manufacturer in India) that is investing.