Hyundai Motor Co will expand its lineup to six battery-electric vehicles in India by 2028, as the South Korean carmaker tries to seize first-mover advantage in the growing market.
The vehicles will comprise different styles, including SUV, and will cater to segments including the mass market and mass premium, the company said in a statement. Hyundai, which currently only offers one battery EV in India, also plans collaborations for charging stations and will spend around $530 million on R&D for the new lineup.
Since taking charge in October, Chairman Euisun Chung has sought to improve profitability at Hyundai, adding more sport-utility vehicles to the global lineup and plowing money into the carmaker’s electric-vehicle ambitions. Meanwhile India’s electric transition — mired by a sparse charging network and expensive battery models — has resulted in sluggish supply of EVs and has meant that even established automakers are reluctant to make the switch though consumer demand starts to increase.
Hyundai’s main rival in the market, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, which is the nation’s biggest carmaker, doesn’t sell any EVs, while Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has only one model, the e-Verito, despite being a first mover with its early purchase of a stake in an Indian EV company in 2010. Tata Motors Ltd sells two models — with plans to roll out 10 battery models by 2025.
Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has said the US-based company is open to making cars in India if the government first allows it to import them more cheaply.