Maruti Suzuki Motor, the largest carmaker in India, is finally testing its first-ever electric vehicle (EV) prototype and will conduct a nationwide fleet test drive next month. This fast-paced progress is in line with the Japanese marque's plan to bring them to the Indian market by 2020.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Suzuki will run a road test in October to assess its capability in multiple terrains and different climate conditions using a pack of 50 EV prototype vehicles. These EVs will be developed based on the Wagon R minicar. It's a small car with a boxy appearance just like any other Japanese kei car, and was even named as the best-selling vehicle in Japan before.
In terms of technology, Suzuki had tied up with Toyota last year to provide technical support for its electric cars that will be produced in India. Suzuki, in exchange, will have to supply such cars to Toyota. Aside from that, the manufacturer is currently working with the joint venture formed by Toyota, Mazda, and Denso, as well as Daihatsu and Hino, to speed up the development process of the said project.
Suzuki holds almost half the market in India, that's why the Japanese brand puts the country at the top of its priority. This huge demand in Suzuki cars is also the reason why the carmaker will start producing EVs in India first, instead of rolling it out in Japan. As a matter of fact, the company has also launched a connected car service in India which is not available in its mainland.
The Japanese carmaker has expressed its confidence that their valued customers will accept the EVs once they are launched. With the upcoming battery-powered cars, Suzuki hopes that this would boost their sales even more and promised to further expand the electric car lineup in the market soon.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review