At the MOVE summit, held in September 2018, Osamu Suzuki, chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan had announced that Maruti Suzuki will conduct a nationwide field testing of 50 prototype electric vehicles.
And now, a month later, the Indian carmaker has flagged-off the new WagonR-based EVs from its Gurugram facility, where they were manufactured. Maruti says that these EVs will be tested in various weathers and terrains and the data gathered from this will help the company in studying and successfully launching electric vehicle technology in India.
These prototypes are based on the Japanese-spec WagonR, which was launched in the Japanese market in 2017. There, it is available with a hybrid powertrain as well. Maruti is expected to launch the new WagonR in India by early 2019.
Maruti had already confirmed that it will launch its first EV in India by 2020 and this step further affirms the carmaker’s intentions of transitioning to electric mobility in the country. Last year, Maruti signed an MoU with Toyota to develop affordable electric cars. According to the MoU, Maruti will be responsible for manufacturing EVs while Toyota will provide the technical know-how. In a similar effort, Maruti has also started building a lithium-ion battery plant at its Gujarat facility. It is being developed in collaboration with Denso and Toshiba, and will be in production by 2020.
Here is the carmaker’s official press release for more details:
Maruti Suzuki Flags-Off Electric Vehicles For Field Testing
October 9, 2018: In line with its commitment to introduce an Electric Vehicle by 2020, Maruti Suzuki has flagged-off proto-type Electric Vehicles for field test. The prototype EVs were flagged off from the Company’s Gurugram facility by CV Raman, Senior Executive Director (Engineering), today.
At the MOVE Summit in September this year, Mr Osamu Suzuki, Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan had announced the nation-wide field testing of 50 prototype Electric Vehicles.
The Electric Vehicles have been developed exclusively by Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan and built at Maruti Suzuki, Gurugram facility, as our commitment to Make in India.
This extensive real-life usage of the vehicles in multiple terrains and climatic conditions will help the company get valuable insights that will help in validation and successful launch of Electric Vehicle technology in India.
Testing of these vehicles will also help Maruti Suzuki to gather critical inputs based on customer perspectives and will help to create a reliable and suitable Electric Vehicle to delight Indian customers.
These Proto-type Electric Vehicles have been developed on an existing model of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan.