- EVs, if built in India, will be built at the Chakan, Pune facility
- Brand EQ has already been previewed in India at the Auto Expo
Mercedes-Benz India has demonstrated positive intent about building electric vehicles in India and is the first German manufacturer to do so. The Indian car market expects to go all-electric by 2030 and with it being the fourth largest market in the world, it is certainly important for Mercedes’ future plans.
Mercedes-Benz is the highest seller of luxury cars in India and has been quick to respond with new products with every policy change by the government. Now, after leading the BS-VI charge with the S-Class, Mercedes-Benz intends to be the first-mover in the luxury electric segment in the country. Mercedes’ EQ range is set to go in to the market in 2019 and with the new homologation-free import policy, bringing these products to India for interested customers will not be an issue.
But to build the EQ series in India, Mercedes-Benz seems to be analysing the current ecosystem of tax rebates and import duties. Also, vital to the adoption of electric cars in India is the availability of the charging infrastructure. While we have seen quite a few announcements from a number of large corporates on commencement of electric charging infra projects, the numbers, on the whole, are still quite low.
It is expected that at least the metropolitan areas will have the necessary infrastructure by 2020 and by then, even the manufacturers will have their new-gen electric portfolios ready. To build these luxury EVs in India would be a business decision that is still quite some time away. In the meantime, we can always begin with CBUs before taking the CKD route.