‘Merc EVs in India once infra in place’

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Battery vehicle global launch this year

Mercedes-Benz will launch electric vehicles (EVs) in India once the infrastructure and demand for such automobiles are in place, a senior company executive said. By mid-2019, Mercedes Benz is aiming to launch its battery-powered vehicle globally, according to information available.

World premiere

The company made its entry into this area of mobility in September 2018 through the world premiere of its first all-electric people mover EQC, the first Mercedes-Benz model under the product and technology brand EQ. The name EQ stands for electric intelligence, insiders said.

At an interaction here in March, Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO, Martin Schwenk, had said that the launch of EVs would be synchronised with real demand for such vehicles in those markets. “We will analyse the markets,” he had said then.

Consumers see inadequate access to charging facilities as on of the top three hurdles to EV adoption, according to a Mckinsey & Company article titled ‘Charging ahead: Electric vehicle infrastructure demand’.

The Indian government has taken efforts to lay down an enabling framework for setting up charging infrastructure. In December 2018, the Union Power Ministry had written to chief secretaries of all States and union territories on the matter.

The Centre wanted power distribution companies (Discoms) to facilitate creation of private charging facilities, while making public charging stations a delicensed activity. It also wanted the Central Electricity Authority to create an online database of all public charging stations.

It was learnt that by 2022, the entire Mercedes–Benz product range is set to be electrified with electric alternatives in every segment, starting from its sub-brand Smart, with over 130 electric vehicle variants in total.

This would range from the 48 volts on-board electrical system to plug-in hybrids to all-electric vehicles with battery or fuel cell. Out of these, over 10 models would be purely electric passenger cars in all segments.

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