Hyundai Kona electric SUV launch in 2019
The electrification race has started to heat up in the nation. With Maruti displaying its plans for a minor electric/hybrid car, Hyundai now wants to beat the Indian automaker to an EV in the market. And it looks like they aren’t killing any time in doing it. With a plan to invest over $1 billion in India over the coming 3 years and launch an electric SUV in 2019, Hyundai has made it clear that it values the Indian market.
The company has been leading feasibility studies for electric vehicles in India and thinks that it’s time to introduce a few e-vehicles. And, to our luck, it plans to start things off with an SUV – the Kona. Developed on a platform which can accommodate an electric powertrain, the electric variant of the Kona is yet to make its international debut. It is available in markets like the US and UK, but with conventional IC powertrains. The electric Kona will be brought to India as a completely knocked down kit and will be assembled locally for a lower starting price. As stated by Hyundai India MD & CEO YK Koo, this will happen in 2019, followed by others from then on. Hyundai is also looking at bringing out a low-cost EV for the mass market, which is going to be the electric variant of the Xcent. Apart from these, the company plans to launch 9 new models, including facelifts, and set up a new headquarter in Gurugram. Koo also said that the duties on the electric car, which currently stand at 12 per cent, needs to go down even further and that the Government also needs to come up with a clear roadmap which would lay down guidelines for the charging infrastructure.
Clearly, India is an important market for Hyundai. It commands a healthy 17 per cent share here. India is also the fourth largest market for Hyundai and contributes to about 15 per cent of its global revenue. At this year’s Auto Expo, Hyundai will showcase the Kona SUV and the electric Ioniq as a demonstration of its electric capabilities.